State of Corby cemetery branded ‘appalling’ after weedkiller poured on graves

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The councillor in charge of Corby Cemetery has said he is appalled and embarrassed by the way it has been left by the contractor paid to look after it.

Lead member for Environment Councillor Mark Pengelly says he was left shocked after he went to see the council-owned Shire Lodge Cemetery with members of the Friends of the Cemetery group. His site visit follows weeks of complaints from local people.

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Many contacted the Northants Telegraph after grass grew to unmanageable levels. Corby Council asked Kier, who are paid to manage to cemetery grounds, to fix the problems.

But weedkiller was poured around graves and yellowing grass cuttings were left scattered all over the place.

Sheila Hetherington, who is a regular visitor to the cemetery in Rockingham Road, said: “If this is an improvement I’m totally disgusted. It’s upsetting to think they are putting weedkiller on your loved-ones.”

Cllr Pengelly said: “I was appalled by what I’ve seen.

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“I was embarrassed to go there to see that.

“My view is that the contractor hasn’t been doing the job they’re supposed to do.

“We weren’t happy with the weedkiller spraying.

“I was very upset with the state of the cemetery. It’s not what the people of Corby expect and it’s not what they deserve.

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“Kier are coming to the end of their contract but they must still fulfil it. They’ve still got to do the job.”

Cllr Pengelly also said that the fault lies not with the individual workers doing the job, but with Kier who have provided substandard equipment.

He is now requesting a meeting with officers to ensure the issues are revisited.

A spokesman for Kier said: “We attended the cemetery to cut the grass and treated it with weed killer, in line with usual maintenance procedures.

“The team then returned the following day to clear any loose cuttings and ensure all the graves were in a good condition.

“We would like to apologise for any upset caused prior to this happening and we have put extra resource in place to ensure the area remains tidy.”

Kier is coming to the end of its Corby Council contract, which also includes bin emptying, this year.