Mum’s anger at graveside policy

A MUM whose baby was stillborn has received a council letter asking her to remove garveside mementos on the first anniversary of the death.

Kimberley Parkinson, 20, gave birth to a stillborn baby girl, Maddison, at 36 weeks. The baby was buried in a shared plot at Dewsbury Cemetery.

Miss Parkinson said she was unaware of Kirklees Council bereavement services policy on the number of trinkets allowed.

Last week would have been Maddison’s first birthday so Miss Parkinson, her fiancé Simon Hicks, and their families placed extra items to mark the occasion.

“I was only going to leave them on the grave for a few days, up to one week maximum,” she said.

“Then I received the letter telling me to remove them straight away.

“For the past year there’s always been enough room for everyone to put whatever they want on the graves. I never had any problems and the council never contacted me.”

Miss Parkinson, of Spring Street, Liversedge, said she was angry about the way the council handled the matter and said she would have spoken to the other families of the shared plot first, if she had been able to contact them.

Council policy for shared graves means that bereaved families are provided with a leaflet telling them what is allowed at the graveside.

A bereavement services spokeswoman said: “We are sorry that Miss Parkinson has become upset over this issue but this is not a private grave but a public one which contains six burials.

“The number and type of memorial items are limited on public graves in order to take into account that other babies are interred there.

“We acknowledge that this is a very sensitive issue but so many mementos had been placed on this grave that the headstone was entirely obscured.”

Families are allowed flowers and a plaque on public graves.

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