Council accused of 'snobbery' over baby's gravestone

PUBLISHED: 06:01 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:02 24 May 2010

VILLAGERS turned out to support a family after a parish council refused permission for a headstone to be put on the grave of a stillborn baby. Billy Winter, who was born two weeks premature in August last year, is buried in the parish cemetery in Churchi

VILLAGERS turned out to support a family after a parish council refused permission for a headstone to be put on the grave of a stillborn baby.Billy Winter, who was born two weeks premature in August last year, is buried in the parish cemetery in Churchill. In January, Churchill Parish Council refused permission for a headstone because it carried a photograph of Billy.The council has also told the Winter family to remove all toys and ornaments from the grave by the end of the month.Parish council chairman Councillor Pam Millward said: "The parish cemetery is seen as an extension of the churchyard. It is four tenths of a mile from an area of outstanding beauty and photographs are out of keeping with the churchyard."The comment prompted Billy's mother, Carol, to run out of the meeting in tears.When the burial ground came up for discussion during the meeting, the press and public were excluded from the proceedings.Churchill 1st Brownies Brown Owl Maureen Porter told the meeting: "I have made it my business to speak to a lot of people in the parish, both young and old. "The clear majority are not in agreement with the council's decision on Billy Winter's grave. This council should act on behalf of the parish and not just the chosen few."She later told the Somerset Mercury: "I have been appalled at the behaviour of some of the councillors. But the family seems to come from the wrong side of the village. It's snobbery of the worst kind."Councillor Barry Gwilt, who has spoken out against the council's decision, was later excluded from the meeting for refusing to withdraw a remark.Cllr Gwilt said: ""I said I thought it was wrong I had received calls from both the chairman and the clerk saying I should either toe the line or resign. "The council seems to think it is a dictatorship, not a democracy."Cllr Millward said: "Cllr Gwilt was told he couldn't campaign for the Winter family as a parish councillor. As an individual he can say what he likes, but as a parish councillor he can't.

More from Weston Mercury

18 minutes ago

Weston were well beaen by Radstock in the Somerset Super League Darts.

Read more
17 minutes ago

Uphill B team lost 7-2 to league leaders Backwell, despite their best efforts.

Read more
17 minutes ago

Nearly all of Weston Open Badminton Club’s teams were in action last week.

Read more
22 minutes ago

St Johns B are the leaders of the Weston and District Skittles League Division 1 table.

Read more
22 minutes ago

The Convicts are the leaders at Christmas in the Weston Mixed Cribbage League.

Read more

Yatton defeated near neighbours Weston 2nd XI to complete a satisfactory victory.

Read more
50 minutes ago

An electronic music duo will play tracks from their first studio album in six years this week.

Read more

Volunteers at Weston’s RNLI waved off their smaller, life-saving boat as it was replaced by a new vessel.

Read more

Banksy is raffling off a priceless piece of art from Weston’s Dismaland for £2 to raise money for refugees.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

A Cheddar man has been hailed volunteer of the year after dedicating years to preserving an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists