Upkeep at cemetery branded disgusting
A GOOD Samaritan told by the church to stop looking after a Bristol cemetery said he is disgusted it has been left to become overgrown.
Stephen Jackson devoted much of his free time to clearing the grounds of St Mary Redcliffe Cemetery in Bath Road and even paid to have the old gates professionally restored, always informing the church office of his work.
But as reported in the Post in May, Bristol diocese – which is in charge of Anglican churches in the area – told him he should not do any more work in the grounds without permission from the Diocesan Chancellor
The 62-year-old has stopped tending to all but his foster father's father's grave as requested but is disappointed that the council has not been keeping the cemetery properly maintained. Bristol City Council took over the responsibility for maintaining the grounds when the cemetery was closed to burials.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Mr Jackson, a former Cadbury worker, said: "As per usual Bristol City Council are just mowing the same piece of grass and has left all the borders. And they are supposed to strim around the graves and cut the brambles, but it just does not get done. I used to do a lot of that, but where they have left it now it is absolutely disgusting.
"They have also taken down a wall they said was unsafe, but I got an engineer to look at it before and they have taken down more than they needed to.
"We want the council to do the maintenance they took on."
Mr Jackson was honoured with a Post/ First Gold Star Award last year for dedicating so much of his time and money to keeping the cemetery maintained. He said he has never kept a tally of the money he has spent tending to the cemetery but imagines that along with the restoration of the gates it probably runs to almost £9,000 – and more work needs to be done.
Bristol City Council spokeswoman, Helen Hewitt confirmed the authority was responsible for maintenance of the grounds
"We share Mr Jackson's desire to see the cemetery well maintained. And like all good landlords – and in line with the grounds maintenance standards of all our cemeteries – we have a planned programme of regular grass cutting and safety inspections of trees, paths and walls.
"Even though the very wet weather has made grass cutting more difficult, especially in cemeteries, our teams have managed to cut the grass as planned."
She said the section of wall was taken down because a structural engineer found it was unstable and would be repaired and restored.