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Thursday, 6 February, 2003, 06:02 GMT
Expert to review gravestones row
Gravestones
Thousands of gravestones in Stoke were flattened
An independent expert has been called in to try to end a row over gravestones which were flattened by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

The council took the decision to lay down 11,000 headstones after safety checks found them to be dangerous.

But hundreds of angry family members say they were not consulted and are now demanding compensation.

The council has already issued a public apology and council manager, Dr Ita O'Donovan, has now announced an independent review of the issue.

Public safety remains our paramount concern

Council manager Ita O'Donovan

It will be headed by an independent expert nominated by the West Midlands Local Government Association.

The review is expected to take five to six weeks and will consider complaints by people affected by the safety work and recommend how best to proceed with the rest of the safety work.

Dr O'Donovan has promised to implement whatever recommendations are made by the review, which will be made public.

She said: "It is clear that this is a very emotive subject which we want to deal with sensitively.

"The best way to do this is to have the whole issue looked at impartially and independently."

She added: "Public safety remains our paramount concern, but we want to ensure that safety work proceeds within a humane and sensitive framework."


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See also:

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