Wiltshire

Swindon mother reaches compromise over ornaments on child's grave

The grave site in Kingsdown of Karen Thompson's 14-month-old daughter
Image caption Karen Thompson said leaving gifts at her daughter's grave "means the whole world" to her

A mother who was asked to remove ornaments from her 14-month-old daughter's grave in Swindon has reached a compromise with the council.

Karen Thompson, 24, was left in tears after being told items like teddy bears broke crematorium regulations and they had to be cleared by 13 April.

Swindon Borough Council has agreed silk flowers and cards can remain at the grave in Kingsdown Cemetery.

Items like stones, teddy bears, solar lights and wind chimes must be removed.

Image caption Swindon Borough Council lifted the deadline given two weeks ago to remove the items

The council said site maintenance, such as grass cutting, was made more complicated if graves had many items placed on them "because they can be accidentally damaged, which in our experience can cause further distress".

During a meeting earlier this week, the crematorium director advised Ms Thompson that items such as silk flowers, plastic daisies and birthday or Christmas cards can be left on the grave for up to two weeks.

She was also told the memorial must be reduced in size to 12 inches squared - the standard allocation for an ashes burial plot.

The council said the appearance of the cemetery "can be an emotive issue" and it was difficult to reach a decision that satisfies everyone.

Ms Thompson lost her daughter suddenly to illness in 2013 and said leaving gifts at the grave "means the whole world" to the family.

"We haven't got Mya here today to buy her gifts for her birthday, Easter eggs for Easter or Christmas presents, so instead we give her a little gift... for her little garden."

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