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Council defends crematorium garden clean up after complaints memorial items were removed

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Aug 19th, 2019.

Wrexham Council has come under criticism after visitors to Wrexham’s crematorium found that memorial items they had purchased had been removed, and the authority is improving signage to explain why ‘personal memorialisation’ is not allowed in the gardens.

Over the past few weeks, family and friends attending the Pentrebychan Crematorium to pay their respects or lay down flowers have found that items such as personalised flower and memorial pots that they had purchased, had been taken from the area.

Since the start of August a number of people have been in touch Wrexham.com to say there had been no prior warning about their items being removed.

Shelley told us: “They’ve stated that they have never actually allowed them and are removing them all following complaints they’ve received.

“When we asked about ours were told that they’re only storing them for three months before being disposed of, and they’re behind the wall garden for people to collect.

“I know some people don’t visit regularly, and anyone who just goes for marked occasions might miss this three month window.”

Another person told Wrexham.com: “On visiting the crematorium last Saturday to take my late son flowers, I found all my personal belongings of my son had gone as well as everybody else’s, which I thought was really insensitive.

“There was a notice to claim them back, but there was no notice or warning that this was going to happen, otherwise I would of taken them.

“The whole incident left me upset and distraught.”

However the local authority says the items have been removed after complaints that the crematorium’s “gardens were becoming unkempt” and that “some of the plots were becoming personal shrines”.

A spokesperson for Wrexham Council, said: “Personal memorialisation is not permitted within the Gardens themselves and we do explain this to anyone who asks, as there is only finite space within the Gardens, and each area represents the final resting place of many people’s loved ones.

“We have received complaints from some who were genuinely concerned that the gardens were becoming ‘unkempt’ and we were also having complaints that some of the plots were becoming ‘personal shrines’, and so families felt they could not then place flowers for their loved ones on them.

“We do offer other means of personal memorialisation in the form of the Book of Remembrance, Wall Plaques and a Donations in Memory fund for those who wish have them.

The spokesperson added: “Whilst historically there have been signs in place to advise what is permitted within the grounds, we have now placed more detailed temporary signage in the Gardens prior to removing any items, and we are currently in the process of having permanent signs made.

“Although we have received a few complaints, we have also received positive feedback from visitors including some that have removed their memorialisation but agree that it does look better.”


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