NORTHWICH Town Council says it is ‘doing its utmost’ to get Witton cemetery back to its usual high standard.

The pledge follows a complaint by Sandiway resident David Joyner about the length of the grass in the cemetery in Church Street.

Mr Joyner was born and bred in Northwich, and his parents Ernest and Ethel and daughter Rachael Claire are buried in the cemetery, which is maintained by the town council.

Mr Joyner and his wife Carol visit the cemetery regularly, and Mr Joyner rang the council to complain about the lack of grass cutting, after visiting the cemetery last Wednesday.

“The grass was a disgrace, and looked like it had not been cut for weeks,” said Mr Joyner. “There were other family members at the cemetery, and they also said what a disgrace it was. The person I spoke to at the town council said they were short-staffed.

“The taxpayer is paying for the cemetery to be kept in a decent condition. They should have people there to maintain it, and I would like the council to make sure the grass is cut regularly.”

Liza Clansey, town council registrar and assistant clerk, offered her apology to Mr Joyner for the length of the grass.

“We had an awful lot of burials last week, which get priority over grass cutting, as the men have to dig the graves,” she said.

“The grass has grown like mad over the past couple of weeks, and we have been struggling to keep up with it. The grass is quite, which is a concern, and we do not want people to be upset.

“We are doing our utmost to get the cemetery back to its usual high standard, and the men are on overtime to try to get on top of the grass cutting.”

The two men who cut the grass at the cemetery also dig the graves at the three cemeteries for which the council is responsible.

Town clerk Chris Shaw said: “The council works to an exceptionally high standard and strives to ensure we deliver the best possible service to all residents and visitors.

"Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control it is sometimes necessary to prioritise workload.

"Our staff work very hard to keep the cemetery looking the best it possibly can and take a great deal of pride in what they do.

"We apologise for any upset that was caused and assure people the cemetery is now back to the standard we would expect.”