Wiltshire Publications

Grass finally cut in Westbury cemetery after numerous complaints

The long grass in Westbury cemetery

The long grass in Westbury cemetery

Westbury residents are angered that their calls for the long grass to be cut in the town cemetery and elsewhere in the town have gone unheeded by Wiltshire Council. 

One Westbury resident was forced to cut the grass around her son’s grave with a pair of scissors after complaining for more than three weeks about the state of the cemetery.

Wiltshire Council’s contractors Balfour Beatty eventually started grasscutting at Westbury cemetery last week after numerous complaints from local people going back weeks.

Westbury resident, Debbie Samways said, “It’s disgusting that our cemetery has been allowed to get into this state. We had been told it would be done by the 15th May, but by the 29th May it still hadn’t been touched. My son’s grave was in amongst grass and weeds that were over my knees, almost covering his headstone. Other grass was at my hip height. Is this how we are to treat our loved ones who have gone before us? Are we supposed to get up there and do it ourselves?

“Last year and this year has been the worst I have ever seen it in the 20 years I’ve been going there on a regular basis. I always used to be so proud of this cemetery. It was a lot better looked after than other ones I had been to, always neat and tidy and strimmed around the edges and not a long blade in sight. Now they couldn’t care less.”

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Council said, “The whole area should be up to standard now and it will be maintained on a fortnightly basis from then on.”

Westbury resident Paul Amor has also complained to Wiltshire Council about the long grass near roundabouts, making it dangerous for driving.

He said, “At many roundabouts the grass is too long, obstructing views and making driving dangerous. Driving into Westbury the grass at the side of roads is waist height, making the town look shabby to visitors etc. There are many open spaces that have waist high grass, making it impossible for children/dog walkers etc to enjoy these areas.

“I myself have contacted Wiltshire Council and I know others have also, but their standard response is it is in their planned works schedule, but nothing seems to happen. This grass takes a while to get to this length and many areas have not been touched at all in 2014 so far.

“There is a nice large field/open space at the end of my cul-de-sac (Dartmoor Road) where my children used to like to play, but have been unable for many months. They now play on our driveways, pavements and road in the cul-de-sac. All the residents in our road obviously know this and drive carefully, but it only takes one mistake by another motorist and there could be a accident, with someone getting hurt.

“This problem seems to be all over Westbury from what I have read and maybe a problem Wiltshire-wide. The council just do not seem to be bothered about sorting the situation.”