Daughter slams state of Tunstall Cemetery as parents' graves swamped by '2ft weeds'

Tunstall Cemetery in May 2024
-Credit: (Image: Margaret Cliff)


A daughter who went to visit her late parents' grave on the anniversary of her mother's death has said she found 2ft high weeds growing in the burial ground. Margaret Cliff said the state of Tunstall Cemetery was "disgusting and very upsetting" when she went to visit the resting place of her mother Irene and father Reginald at the weekend.

She has called on Stoke-on-Trent City Council to invest more money in maintaining the area's cemeteries "instead of empty markets that nobody is interested in". She added that she has previously raised concerns about the condition of the cemetery with the authority's bereavement care team at Carmountside, but last weekend was the worst she had seen the Tunstall site.

Margaret, 76, of Chell Heath Road, said: "My son went down to the grave on Saturday and the weeds were that bad it's covered now in weed killer. We took flowers there and when I looked at the rest of the cemetery the weeds were two feet high and there were so many of them.

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"I know the council are strapped for money but it's no excuse. We have got to respect people in cemeteries. It was very upsetting. I used to go there every week but then we had to give the car up and I depend on somebody to take me there.

"My 89-year-old aunt goes out to the cemetery to tend to the grave but she shouldn't have to - the council should be doing it. There is a lot of traffic that goes past the main gates and it isn't a very good tribute to the city."

Last month rubbish including a car seat was found dumped in Tunstall Cemetery. The incident was branded "disgusting behaviour" by Councillor Tabrase Din, who represents Tunstall on the city council.

He said he was made aware of the current condition of the cemetery at the weekend by a family member who had visited the grounds. He added: "I have sent emails over to the council to remind them to get it sorted as soon as possible.

"They have a schedule, so hopefully they will get around to it soon. It has been scheduled but they can't do it if it is raining because of the machinery they use."

A spokesperson for Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: "Grass cutting is continuing throughout the city cemeteries although the extremely wet weather is affecting progress. Our teams are doing their utmost to overcome these conditions."

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