Moves to resolve 'toppled' graves

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

A PARISH council has requested a meeting with church chiefs as the latest part of its campaign to resolve the dispute over toppled headstones in a village graveyard. Members of Hutton Parish Council are hoping to meet with representatives from the Diocese

A PARISH council has requested a meeting with church chiefs as the latest part of its campaign to resolve the dispute over toppled headstones in a village graveyard.Members of Hutton Parish Council are hoping to meet with representatives from the Diocese of Bath and Wells to discuss taking further action after more than 50 memorial stones were laid flat on health and safety grounds.Village vicar Reverend Bernard Stevenson has been asked to approach the diocese to request the talks which parish councillors hope will take place in the next three weeks.North Somerset Council arranged for the toppling work to be carried out in the closed churchyard in St Mary's Church in September. The parish council is unhappy about how the work was done and says bereaved families were not properly informed it was going ahead.It has asked the local authority to pay compensation to families to repair the flattened gravestones, which the council has refused to do.Two independent enquiries have confirmed the council followed the correct guidelines when doing the work. An ecclesiastical court ruled in January that Leicester City Council should pay £20,000 to reinstate gravestones it had toppled in a cemetery.Parish clerk Andy Basterfield said: "We are considering seeking legal advice over the matter and will ask if the Diocese can assist with its great bank of legal resources.

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