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Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 13:03 GMT
Gravestones flattened after safety checks
Gravestones
Thousands of gravestones in Stoke are 'dangerous'
More than 11,000 headstones in Stoke-on-Trent are being flattened after they were found to be dangerous.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council discovered the problem after carrying out safety checks.

The city council had to issue a public apology after some headstones were flattened without the families being informed.

Hundreds of people are due to attend a meeting in Stoke-on-Trent on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

Public apology

A council spokesman said the meeting was organised following public concerns.

"Councils across the UK have been carrying out a programme of safety checks after a child was killed by a memorial in Yorkshire several years ago," he said.

"In Stoke-on-Trent, this has led to safety problems being discovered with 11,542 memorials judged to be immediately dangerous in that they aren't secure."

Stoke-on-Trent's nine cemeteries are run by the city council but all gravestones are the responsibility of the person who owns the grave.

"Unfortunately we had a backlog of letters and some headstones were removed without informing the families but we have issued a public apology for that," the spokesman said.

Harry Mouatt, president of the city's association of funeral directors, says the policy has caused a lot of distress to families.


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29 Oct 02 | England
04 Sep 02 | England
26 Jul 02 | England
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