Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Difficult Decisions

Last year I chaired a scrutiny review of memorial policy and other aspects of our cemeteries. It wasn't an easy subject but it was very much needed. The old policy had been disregarded for a long time for all sorts of reasons, some good, some less so. One of the conclusions of the committee was that a proportion of each grave should be allowed for personalisation - family could plant low plants, place decorative objects or just leave it grassed to suit their own wishes. The rest of the grave would then be turfed and maintained by the council's workforce.
The first area for this to happen would be the burial area set aside for babies. It would tie in with the refurbishment of the garden, including attractive border fencing and planting. The plans looked lovely. The first stage of the work improved the borders of the garden and general planting. The next stage was to be the tidying of the graves. Sadly, a small number of parents are finding it hard to cope with the new policy and so much of today was taken up with a meeting to discuss the way forward. No-one wants to upset people who've had such a tragedy in their lives and it is taking a great deal of time to resolve the differences.
There are many problems in the way scrutiny is done in the council and how it's followed up, but on this occasion the cabinet acceptance of the recommendations has remained solid. The cabinet member is working with the council officers and I'm being included as part of all the discussions. It's good to report a success once in a while.

No comments: