Disgusted parent calls for action at Colne Cemetery

An outraged parent has slammed Pendle Council for failing to clear up grass that has been left strewn over graves at Colne Cemetery.

Daryl Wright (52) regularly visits the site, off Keighley Road, to look after the graves of his son Philip Wright, Philip’s cousin Craig Russell, and their Grandma Francis Holmes.

Colne Cemetery.'Photo Ben Parsons

Colne Cemetery.'Photo Ben Parsons

But each week, for the past three years, he has been left increasingly disgusted by the state the cemetery grounds have been left in by Pendle Council’s Parks and Recreation team.

Mr Wright’s son Philip died in a car crash back in 2009, along with his friends Jessica Foxley and Tom Petty. The trio had been returning home from a wedding when their car hit a wall in Skipton Old Road.

Mr Wright, of Alkincoats Road, said: “Every year I have battled with Pendle Council.”

“It is an absolute disgrace. The council go round the graves and cut the grass, and they are all absolutely covered, either half way or completely, in grass cuttings.

“I am there every week and I am fed up of washing and cleaning the graves.”

Mr Wright, who works as a multi-operator in a brewery, said he has even asked the council “on numerous occasions” if they can “stay away” from the graves that he looks after. He also added that the team cutting the grass should be using blowers to clear up any mess.

Jessica Foxley’s mum Coun. Margaret Foxley, has also raised concerns about Colne Cemetery, and has shown her support to Mr Wright in his calls for action.

While it is understood that there are a number of factors that make it difficult for the council to maintain the area, including people installing kerbstones and railings, it is believed that something needs to be done.

Responding, Pendle Council’s Deputy Chief Executive, Philip Mousdale, said: “When we cut grass in our cemeteries, it’s our normal practice to leave the cuttings behind. This is what we have always done and it helps us to contain the costs of caring for Pendle’s cemeteries.”

He also added that grounds maintenance staff would be reminded of Mr Wright’s wishes for the council not to cut the grass around his loved ones’ graves.