Council to re-erect headstones

Nuthall Parish Council is spending £1,000 re-erecting headstones in the local cemetery that were toppled over for ‘health and safety reasons’.

Council chairman Derek Burnett caused uproar last week after laying 50 headstones down in the cemetery without contacting the owners first, claiming they were unsafe.

The rest of the council – who were not consulted – called it insensitive and have bought in specialised equipment to put them all back up.

But Cllr Burnett has taken legal advice and insists his actions were above board.

“Everything I did was above the law, within cemetery protocol and adhering to the health and safety act,” he said.

“It clearly says that if they are very dangerous – which they were because one nearly fell on the groundsman - they should be laid down immediately.”

The council’s vice chairman, Philip Owen, set up a working group which agreed to buy the equipment in and put things right.

“The action may be legal but if you read the Ministry of Justice guidelines it clearly says apply common sense and a sensitive way forward needs to be applied,” he said.