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Widower in row over wife's graveside.

Byline: Helen Rae Health Reporter

A WIDOWER is in a dispute with a council over his wife's grave.

Grieving Joe Grant lost his wife Blanche last year after she had battled with Alzheimer's disease.

Now the 85-year-old has been upset at a wrangle with South Tyneside Council over the length of his wife's grave at Harton Cemetery in South Shields. Joe has put effort into making the grave nice by laying white chippings and an ornamental stone border around the patch.

But the council has insisted that it is not in keeping with policy and has asked Joe to scale back the display.

"It's very sad that the council has asked me to change the grave and I'm really annoyed," Joe said.

"I want Blanche to rest in peace and I'm very proud of what I've done to the grave.

"Every Saturday I go to the cemetery and chat to Blanche. It's important to me that it looks nice in honour of her."

South Tyneside Council said graves are only allowed to have ornamental gardens up to three feet in length but Blanche's is five feet.

A spokesperson said: "We very much sympathise with Mr Grant, but the council has a responsibility to enforce the cemetery's regulations and ensure it can be properly maintained and accessible to everyone.

"These rules are provided to everyone when a grave is purchased.

"Graves in the lawned section can have small ornamental gardens up to a maximum of three feet in length, but in this case the decorations are five feet in length. We have met with Mr Grant and will do everything we can to help him bring the area in line with regulations."


Joe Grant at his late wife's Blanche's grave in South Shields 151013GRANT_04 PAUL NORRIS
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 17, 2013
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