Petition presented in row over baby's grave

PUBLISHED: 06:48 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 24 May 2010

MORE than 500 people have signed a petition calling for a headstone with a picture of a stillborn baby on it to be allowed in a village cemetery. Billy Winter, who was born two weeks premature in August last year, is buried in the parish cemetery in Churc

MORE than 500 people have signed a petition calling for a headstone with a picture of a stillborn baby on it to be allowed in a village cemetery.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 photograph of Billy to be part of the headstone. Councillors also told the Winter family to remove toys and ornaments placed on the grave.The council says the picture is not permitted according to church rules but the family is determined to fight the decision. The massive petition calling for councillors to change their minds was handed to the council at its meeting on June 12.At the meeting Billy's uncle, Peter Blannin said: "You should understand the need of Carol (Billy's mother) to put things on the grave. It is not aesthetics, it is about grieving for her baby. Why can't you let her grieve?"What you are doing also throws in the face of all the research done by professionals on how grieving family members should be allowed to act. Removing the toys set Carol back three months. How would you like someone to sneak into your home and steal your child's toys? We love him like he is still alive."Councillors have agreed to meet with members of the family to try to come to a compromise.Parish council chairman Pam Millward said: "We are also looking for further professional advice on the matter so we are certainly not sitting around doing nothing."But we must remember there are 20 other graves and all those people comply with the regulations."Another family was upset by what they saw on Billy's grave and asked for them to be removed. To each person who has lost a loved one there is only one person's grave that matters, their grave.

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