Monmouthshire County Council is appealing for parents and carers of children interred within Llanfoist Cemetery to get in touch if they haven’t already heard from the council.

 The council is improving the appearance of the area dedicated to graves of deceased children and stillborn babies by temporarily storing personal tributes and memorials, removing the turf, laying a weed-suppressant membrane and infilling with decorative stone.  Once this work is completed the items will be returned to their original positions.  Care will be taken to prevent any damage to existing headstones.

 This work will create a more attractive setting as currently many of the graves look very untidy.  Grass and weeds growing among the items cannot be cut back effectively and efficiently or to a satisfactory standard.

 The council wrote to parents and carers last November to notify that this work will go ahead in mid-March and has asked them to remove personal items while the operation is carried out.  Any items remaining will be removed and stored carefully.

 However, the council is aware that it has been unable to reach all parents and carers of those interred so it has asked them to contact its Cemeteries Officer, Rhian Jackson: rhianjackson@monmouthshire.gov.uk or 01873 735852/ 07920 087861.

 Council Leader Peter Fox said: “While we recognise that this is an emotive issue, all the parents who have contacted us are in favour of our plans to improve the appearance of the cemetery.  Once the work is complete items such as teddies, toys, ornaments and free-standing tributes can be replaced.  However fencing or fixed memorials, other than those granted a permit, will not be allowed as well as items that breach or penetrate the membrane.  Where items of this nature are found they will be removed.”

 Contact Rhian Jackson to discuss any aspect associated with the council’s proposals.