Knowsley Council Respond to Prescot Cemetery Concerns

By on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

prescot_cemetery_new_signYesterday, I documented the poor state of Prescot Cemetery. Knowsley Council have responded via email as follows:

The original aluminium plaque displayed in the cemetery was in a very bad state of repair, so we have removed this for safekeeping and are currently making a permanent replacement plaque – which will be reinstalled at Prescot Cemetery in May. The sign you have photographed is a temporary replacement until this happens.

Just to clear up any confusion, the plaque at Fox’s Bank Cemetery in Whiston is a copy of the Prescot plaque and not the original.

In regards to the maintenance of the cemetery which has also been mentioned in the article, memorials are the responsibility of grave owners.

In regards to the two poles situated in the cemetery we anticipate that new signs should be fitted shortly.

We can also confirm that the gate will be fitted this summer.

To summarise, the council says:

  • The plaque will be replaced in May
  • Other signs will be replaced “shortly”
  • Gates will be replaced in the summer
  • Memorials are the responsibility of the grave owners, not the council

As the poor condition of several memorials is a major concern, I’ve asked Knowsley Council to let me know what powers they have to clear up debris if owners don’t deal with the damaged memorials. The stacks of stone blocks, headstones, etc (see photos), are an eyesore and unfair on those who visit their loved ones in the cemetery and do take care of their memorials.

Update (17/04/13): 

I asked Knowsley Council:

As regards the memorials that are in a state of disrepair, have been vandalised, etc, what powers does Knowsley Council have to enforce owners’ duty to keep them maintained? I assume Knowsley has a process for contacting families, etc, to let them know, but could Knowsley, for example, remove some of the debris if the owners take no action? I’m thinking particularly of the many stacks of blocks (see the photos), which are very unsightly and spoil the property for those who visit and do maintain their families’ memorials.

Knowsley Council responded, through their press office:

As previously outlined, memorials remain the property and responsibility of the registered grave owner and owners are required to check their memorial is safe and in a good state of repair.  Should they find their memorial has become unsafe, they should arrange to have repairs carried out by a monumental mason.

To ensure the safety of visitors and staff in cemeteries, the council carries out regular safety audits of all memorials and reserves the right to make safe any memorial posing a danger.

In the coming week, Bereavement Services operatives will be working at the cemetery, removing any non-memorial materials.

9 Comments

  1. Lynne Naylor

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Great news Prescot Council, but can I also recommend the footpaths between the graves also be taken on board and replaced by something more appealing to the eye to help maintain the site.

    Kind Regards

    Lynne Naylor

  2. William Cooper

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I would thank Knowsley Council for their reply and am glad to hear that the version of the sign and the gates will soon be back. However, the general state of the cemetery is untidy and rundown. Generally the paths are not in very good condition and parts of them accumulate thick mud which is not cleared. The board by the tap at the Manchester Road end where water containers were hooked on has just been left to rot and fall to pieces. Considering the money spent at the new Whiston Cemetery I find this very poor.

    • christine

      Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      I would just like to suggest maybe starting a group called friends of Prescpt cemetery a group of people who would be willing to help to tidy up the cemetery maybe clear pathways and debris weeds and various other little jobs that need doing they do it at other cemetery’s so why not here and what better way to get volunteers than on prescot online just a thought if enough people would be willing.

  3. Jennifer Brady

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Our family have a grave in this cemetery and the distance between our plot and the next is about 6inches wide. I have fell a few times trying to tend to our grave. Could the council not ask plot owners to just have a Headstone instead of a full stone. This would give more space to tend to graves. If they look at St. Helens cemetery it is set out lime this and the extra space is grass,: making maintinance much easier. Also to have things rectified by a Stonemason costs a fortune and some people may not be able to afford this.Some of these graves may not have living relatives. So have a heart Knowsley council and help out with these matters. Thank you.

  4. William Cooper

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I would be willing to help to tidy up Prescot Cemetery

  5. Joan Flatley

    Monday, April 22, 2013 at 10:17 am

    My main complaints about the cemetery are that the pathways which are supposed to be walkways are constantly driven over not only by people visiting the cemetery but also by council workers on the rare occasions you see them there.people actually drive over the end of my mothers grave which upsets me enormously.The second thing is during the summer months someone from the council will come along and tip that much weed killer between the gravestones it looks a disgrace .I can safely say that none of these things would happen in the whiston cemetery.

  6. Dave Johnson

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Maybe KMBC have employed humans in the Press Office at last!
    However, I’ll believe the above refurbishments when I see it…May for the gates eh, that’s a coincidence?

    I’d rather have a group as suggested above putting some real heartfelt effort in than someone on £6.50 an hour trampling over graves and flowers.
    It seems our town has to rely on it’s own folk to sort even the most basic issues than rely on ‘our council’ to do it.

  7. Viv Frodsham

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I would like to thank Knowsley Council for taking notice of what the residents of Prescot are saying about Prescot Cemetery, and am pleased to hear that the plaque is being repaired and will be reinstated next month, and eventually the gates will be returned too. However, a lot of work still needs to go into this cemetery as it really is in a sorry state. To my knowledge, there is just ONE working tap for us to get water to put our flowers in. Last week, I had to walk the whole length of this large cemetery to get water. One tap has been broken off, presumably by vandals.
    Whilst I appreciate that the cemetery in Whiston is lovely and something to be proud of, our loved ones lying in Prescot have put a lot into making Prescot what it is, (or once was), and they deserve to rest in dignity, not in a vandalised rubbish dump. Have some respect for the dead and sort this cemetery out before it gets worse. Thank you.

  8. Pingback: Returned Cemetery Gates Anger Prescot Residents | Prescot Online

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