Families call for action to restore flat gravestones

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BEREAVED families are stepping up their campaign to have their loved ones’ headstones restored in a Rotherham cemetery - six years after they were flattened by the town council.

In 2005 the council laid flat almost every headstone in the cemetery on Haugh Road, Rawmarsh, following concerns after the death of a six-year-old in Harrogate.

But many families insisted their memorials were secure - and have been fighting for their restoration ever since.

Now Cynthia Edwards, who is leading the campaign and has three family members buried there, says she is fed up of waiting any longer and called the council’s attitude ‘disgraceful’.

“The council was told that it had to put up the gravestones which it had laid flat, but nothing has happened since,” she said.

“When I go up there now I just can’t stop crying. People are falling over gravestones which have been laid flat. How is that safer?”

Rotherham Council said it had passed control of its cemeteries to a private company, Dignity.

A Dignity spokesman said laying flat headstones was general practice across the UK, and if families wanted their stones reinstated they should commission their own stonemason.