We were extremely disappointed to read both the article and editorial comment in last week’s paper surrounding the funeral of Mrs Violet Blades at Hannah Park Cemetery.
We would like to take this opportunity to respond to a number of points within the article, including the allegation that Mr Blades was issued with a ‘Bassetlaw Council fine’ for ‘remaining at his deceased wife’s graveside after her burial.’ This is not the case and is a misrepresentation of the facts.
It is important that the public understand that under no circumstances will the council issue a fine to an individual or funeral party for spending time at a graveside. We understand that funerals are a difficult and distressing time for family members and friends and the council will never put a timescale or attach a value to the need to say goodbye to a loved one.
In April this year Bassetlaw District Council introduced a late arrival fee which is charged to funeral directors who arrive at the cemetery more than 15 minutes later than the time they have specified.
One of the reasons this fee was introduced was to ensure that there is no distress caused by two burials or interments taking place at the same time and that the privacy of all funerals are respected at all times.
The fee is charged only to the funeral directors and only for a late arrival.
It is in no way related to the amount of time that mourners spend at the graveside or in the cemetery.
In the case of Mr Blades, the council notified the funeral directors the following morning (June 30) that they were being charged a late arrival fee.
It was not until we were contacted by the Worksop Guardian some six weeks later that we learned of the late arrival fee having been passed on to Mr Blades.
In this time, we have not been contacted by Hopkinson’s or the Blades family to question the late arrival fee. Had an approach been made to the council we would have explained the reason for the fee. We are sorry for Mr Blades and his family’s loss and we regret that this situation has caused them additional anguish.
Head of Neighbourhood
Services, Bassetlaw District Council