Grieving daughter claims council workers damaged parents' graves
Julie Liddle visits the resting places of her mum and dad Maureen and George in Houghton Cemetery each week.
The 51-year-old says she has been left angry and upset after a border around the graves were found to have been damaged when grass at the site is cut.
She is now calling on gardening teams to be more careful so that other grieving loved ones are not affected.
Council bosses say they take any concerns “very seriously” and have contacted Julie on a number of occasions regarding her allegations.
“I put a border around the graves and when I saw what had happened I thought people must have been standing on them,” said Julie, of Fence Houses.
“But it’s the gardeners who are doing it because they’ve been knocking it with their lawnmowers.
“It’s happened before and I’ve had to tidy it up, but it’s trashed again.
“I’ve tried to have words with the gardeners but it seems like they just don’t want to know. It’s quite disheartening to be honest.”
Julie has called on her son Aidan Lanagan, 19, to help with the clean up of the border.
“It costs a fortune to get people buried and it seems like a waste trying to keep the graves nice,” she added.
“It’s depressed me and I feel ill over this. The gardeners just don’t seem to give a jot and it’s heartbreaking.
“There is a little baby buried next to my mam and dad and the area around that grave was trashed and had to be tidied up too.”
Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for city services, Councillor Michael Mordey, said: “We take any concerns regarding family graves very seriously and always look into issues such as maintenance, subsidence or vandalism.
“Officers have contacted Julie Liddle on several occasions and are waiting for further details from her.”