Grieving family upset at Harewood bench ban

A ban on benches in Harewood cemetery came under pressure from a grieving family.

They wanted to erect a single seat next to the grave of a five month old baby. It would be used by the grandmother who could not stand.

The cemetery already has at least 10 benches and was becoming littered with them. So the parish council brought in a ban on further benches some 18 months ago.

The latest parish council meeting held firm to their ruling despite feeling sympathy for the family.

“We should write them a nice letter,” said chairman Margaret Wilkinson, “but explain this rule has been made.

“We don’t feel we can allow even a single bench and will point out that the family could bring a collapsible seat such as you would use at a picnic or concert or on the beach.”

Parish councillor David Upton said: “If another bench goes up, it will open the floodgates. As hard as it is, I would like to stick to our original decision.”

The parish council voted to increase its burial fees by 11 per cent to £1,030 for people living outside the parish. But the charge will remain at £935 for local people.