‘Sort it out’: More pressure put on contractors to tidy up a Northampton war hero cemetery

Just not good enough: The state of Kingsthorpe Cemetery has to improve, according to a residents' group.
Just not good enough: The state of Kingsthorpe Cemetery has to improve, according to a residents' group.
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Further calls have been made to get a war heroes’ cemetery tidied up after claims an elderly man even took to cutting the grass himself with scissors.

Last week Northampton Borough Council said heavy rains in July and broken machinery had left its environmental services contractor Enterprise well behind on grass cutting this season.

A picture taken from Kingsthorpe Cemetery last week.

A picture taken from Kingsthorpe Cemetery last week.

Verges, particularly in the east of the town, had been left to grow up to 10 inches in places.

But the state of Kingsthorpe Cemetery, which is home to more than 100 fallen servicemen from both the world wars, caused many to voice their concerns to the Chron.

At last night’s full council meeting members of the Whitehills and Spring Park Residents’ Association, (WASPRA) urged Enterprise to do better, saying people in the area find the state of the cemetery so “disrespectful,” they have even taken to cutting it themselves.

Angela Bartlett, quoting some comments from the association’s Facebook page, said: “It is disrespectful, messy, it looks as if no one cares.

The grass in Southfields as of July 11.

The grass in Southfields as of July 11.

“There are overgrown trees and flower beds.

“There is a broken bench and another with brambles coming through.”

She said it had gotten so bad “one family bought a lawn mower (to cut the grass)and an elderly gentleman has been seen cutting the grasss with his scissors.”

Chairman of WASPRA, Patrick Cross, said Enterprise had cut down long patches of growth in some areas, but left the site so messy afterwards mini “grass haystacks” had formed and green waste was left strewn over flowers left by mourners.

The grass in Southfields as of July 11.

The grass in Southfields as of July 11.

Litter bins were left overflowing, vases knocked over and plots placed so close to each other mourners did not have enough room to kneel before graves, the meeting heard.

There is now growing pressure on Enterprise to improve the service it is giving the borough council, as residents’ frustration with unkempt green areas and cemeteries by their homes continues.

Cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Alan Bottwood, said that he too was not satisfied with the recent work by the contractor.

On Kingsthorpe Cemetery, he said: “The administration is not happy with the standard of work by the contractor. There are certain things being done. The bins are being emptied.

“Audit checks are being done but not the way we would want them to be.”

The contract with Enterprise is up for renewal in 2018.