Birmingham & Black Country

Protest outside Walsall Council House over cemetery regulations

Image caption Walsall Council said it would "continue to manage the council cemeteries for the benefit of everyone“

A protest has been held after families said they were told to remove flower beds at a cemetery.

Mehboob Matloob, whose brother is buried at Streetly Cemetery, said Walsall Council gave people 28 days to remove edgings of graves.

Dozens of people demonstrated outside Walsall Council House earlier.

Regulations needed to be observed to prevent "places of remembrance from becoming disorganised and chaotic," the authority said.

Part of the cemetery is a special memorial for children and the council has allowed edgings and ornaments to remain in that section.

Image caption Part of the cemetery is a special memorial section for children

Mr Matloob said: "What we're saying is 'you are discriminating against us and the wider community on age'.

"It should be one rule for everybody."

The council said it followed "the widely accepted lawn principle for new graves, which is similar to war graves that consist of straight rows of headstones and a lawn of flat grass throughout the cemetery".

In a statement, it said the majority of people would understand there needed to be "proper management of the regulations in place".

Image caption Dozens of people demonstrated outside Walsall Council House

The council said: "It is important we protect the rights of our residents by maintaining the cemeteries in good order.

"We have just undertaken a comprehensive two-month period of consultation. We have made some minor changes to the rules and regulations and these were confirmed by Cabinet at its June meeting."

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