TIDYING up an “overgrown” and “shameful” cemetery will be one of the first priorities of the new man in charge of a cleaner and greener city.
Coun Andy Roberts said he felt saddened by the state of Astwood Cemetery after he paid a visit last Friday (June 6) with Mike Layland, chairman of Worcester’s cemeteries liaison committee, and pledged to send a team to clean it us as soon as possible.
Coun Roberts was originally alerted to the problem when he attended the funeral of a former colleague but on a further inspection found a number of graves, including children’s and military, being taken over by weeds and plants.
“Frankly part of the cemetery is in a shameful state,” he said.
“Mike and I had a thorough look at the whole cemetery and we would reassure those with loved ones at rest in the main and newer parts they need not be concerned.
“Both of us agreed the saddest aspects are the children’s graves, some of which are cared for and tended but are being invaded by undergrowth, and the military graves outside of the specially dedicated area.”
Coun Roberts, who was chosen as the new cabinet member for a cleaner and greener city at last Tuesday’s (June 3) annual city council meeting, said it was crucial the cemetery was tidied up as soon as possible with services to mark the centenary of the First World War getting underway.
“In a year in which we remember the start of the First World War, the Battle of Gheluvelt and the D-Day landings, it is desperately sad the graves some of Worcester’s own heroes seem to have been forgotten,” he added.
“The garden of remembrance needs urgent attention and there must be improvements to the older section of the cemetery.”