A Grimsby woman has been left “absolutely heartbroken” after being told by North East Lincolnshire Council to remove the memorial from the grave of her baby son because it is not made of stone, reports Grimsby Live.
Callum tragically died of pneumonia in 2010 and mum Leanne Thompson, 35, decided to have a new memorial installed at his grave around a year ago. She spent just under £600 for Agecroft Memorials to fit it at the Grimsby Cemetery plot.
In a petition on the campaigning website change.org, she wrote:
“This month I’ve received a letter from Northeast Lincolnshire Council telling me that if I don’t remove my son’s memorial from Scartho Road Cemetery in Grimbsy, they will remove it themselves, and won’t be liable for any damage.
“I’m disgusted and appalled by how heartless this is. The memorial has been there since October 2022 without issue, but now they’re telling me, with only a month’s notice, that it has to go in the least sensitive way possible.
“They say it has to be removed because it’s made of acrylic resin and not stone; but what harm is it doing to anyone? It doesn’t pose any risk to the environment, nor does it create any public safety issue. The council are claiming that acrylic resin might crack in particularly cold weather – but the same thing can happen to stone and we had a cold winter last year which hasn’t affected the memorial at all.
“Any parent that has lost a child should be entitled to place memorials on our baby’s graves. It is a massive comfort to us parents to know that they have a beautiful resting place.
“That’s why I’m calling on the Council to reverse their decision – not just for my little boy and my own sake, but for everyone who should be able to grieve for their loved ones in peace.”
She told Grimsby Live: “We paid for that plot through the council – it says in black and white that we are the landowner, that is our grave – so we should be able to do whatever we like as long as it’s safe.
“People don’t have the money these days to pay £3,000 for a headstone.”
Responding to the complaint, a spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council told Grimsby Live: “Our staff are always willing to help families with any enquiries about cemetery regulations and how they apply to a loved one’s grave.
“The regulations have been in place for many years and it’s important that we treat all grave owners equally when dealing with such sensitive matters.”