Mourners fight changes of graves in Harrow area of Carpenders Park Cemetery

Mourners fight changes of graves at cemetery

Mourners fight changes of graves at cemetery

First published in News
Last updated
Harrow Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Mourners fighting to preserve the graves of their family members say they just want their loved ones to be treated with respect.

The Harrow Times previously reported on the anger of people whose relatives are buried at Carpenders Park Cemetery, in Oxhey Lane, after a section was due to be turned into a lawn cemetery.

The site is run by Brent Borough Council. In 2007 Harrow Borough Council opened a section of the graveyard for Harrow residents.

In June relatives found staff removing crosses, flowers and photographers from the graves of their loved ones.

Since then, families have collected more than 2,200 signatures calling for Harrow Council to put pressure on Brent to stop the changes.

Susan Johnston, 54, from Harrow, whose sister is buried at the cemetery said: “We just want our loved ones treated with respect. The way the council has dealt with this has dehumanised those who are buried there.

“There has been a total lack of respect and is all so disrespectful. We want to be listened to and we want to have our graves treated in the same way as the Muslim community, who have been given dispensation for their graves.

“The Muslim community have been fantastic and they have also given us their backing because they can’t believe what has been happening.

“Feelings are running very high and people are very angry. The size of the petition shows people's strength of feeling and we are going to fight this and tooth and nail.”

As a result of the campaign any changes to the graves at the site have been put on hold.

The petition is due to be discussed by members at Harrow Council’s full meeting on Thursday evening.

Campaigners have been told they must complete a new petition to stop the changes to hand into Brent Council.

A spokesman for Brent council said Carpenders Park is a lawn cemetery where commemorative plaques are laid to mark graves and maintain the look of a lawn.

He said: “Plaques include personal messages and religious symbols according to the choice of the bereaved.

“Whilst we appreciate that some families feel that this does not meet their needs, these aspects are made clear when plots are purchased, and, indeed, many people choose this type of resting place specifically for this look and feel.

“Bereaved families may choose to bury their loved ones in spaces provided by their local borough or elsewhere as best meets their expectations.

"It does seem that there is an issue with burial space in some parts of London, but this is not currently the case in Brent." 

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