CEMETERY workers showed a ‘total lack of respect’ by removing flowers from a grave and using the plot to store their ‘dirty materials’, a family has claimed.
Jenny Goggins, 25, said she was devastated by the state of her brother Michael’s grave at Bacup Cemetery, which she found was ‘covered up by wooden planks’ on Friday morning.
The mum-of-three, of Rossendale Crescent in Bacup, said another grave was due to be dug about 12 feet away, so council workers intended to leave the planks there until the burial.
She said: “It was the anniversary of Michael’s death just the other day, but they just took the fresh flowers and chucked them behind the grave.
“One plank was left balancing on his gravestone so you couldn’t even see his name.
“And there were more covering up the plot on the ground.
“I was just shocked because it showed no respect whatsoever. We even asked the workers to move it all, but they refused.
“I don’t even know why they’ve put them there now because a lady at the council said the funeral wasn’t even until next Friday.”
Her brother Michael Goggins, who was a former Grenadier Guardsman, died in a crash on the Haslingden bypass on May 4, 2008. He was aged just 22.
Jenny added: “I was just devasted to see the grave like that and my parents were both fuming. I think it’s disgusting and really, really hurtful. It’s been so hard for us since he died and it’s so important for us to visit and look after that grave.
“It just makes us feel that bit better and closer to him.”
There was no one available for comment at Rossendale Council over the weekend.
Council leader Alyson Barnes said she had not heard about the incident, but added: “I’m happy to take this up for the family.
“Clearly they are upset, so we’ll have a chat with the staff to see what’s gone on and what we can do to remedy it.
“It’s certainly not the kind of story I’d expect to hear about our cemetery staff, as I’ve always found them to be very sensitive with families.”