A woman in tears after being prevented from visiting her father’s grave on Father’s Day

A Derby woman says she was reduced to tears when she was unable to visit her late father’s grave on Father’s Day because the main cemetery gates were locked during opening hours . Ingrid Marchbank was unable to lay flowers on her father’s grave on Sunday June 19 as the entrance to Uttoxeter New Road Cemetery was locked. She had to return to her car with the flowers, heartbroken.

Derby City Council, which owns the cemetery, has apologized to Ms Marchbank for the incident. And the council has pledged that security personnel and public protection officers will carry out regular checks to ensure the cemetery is open to the public during normal visiting hours.

Ms Marchbank, who works in NHS administration, said she cried on Sunday morning as she found the whole experience so upsetting. Her father, Malcolm Newman, died in May last year. It was therefore only the second Father’s Day since his death. A visit to his grave/ashes memorial was therefore planned to mark the day.

The Littleover resident told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): ‘It was around 10.30am, not too early, when I arrived and there was a chain around the doors and I couldn’t get in. I walked all the way to see if I could find anyone, but no one was there.

“It really upset me, it made me cry. I just wanted to put some flowers there. I looked on the internet and it should have been open from 9.30am. Coming home was very disappointing. “

According to the Derby City Council website, all cemetery grounds are open daily, including bank holidays, between 9am and 7.30pm. The schedules change slightly between November and March because it is the winter season.

In a statement, the city council said it was now in talks with the owner of the residential property on the site to ensure the cemetery is accessible to the public during opening hours. A spokesperson for Derby City Council said: ‘We were in contact with Ms Marchbank this morning (Thursday) to offer our sincere apologies.



Ingrid Marchbank was unable to visit Uttoxeter New Road Cemetery on Father’s Day due to gates being locked during opening hours.

“Derby City Council does not own the residential property and we have had discussions with the owner to ensure access is maintained to the council owned cemetery for visitors and our grounds maintenance team who maintains the grounds Council Security Staff and Public Protection Officers will regularly visit the site to ensure the gates are kept open.

Ms Marchbank also expressed deep concern about the condition of the cemetery, calling the route to her family’s graves “dangerous”. The Local Democracy reporter nearly tripped over the overgrown area as he walked towards the area.

However, during the filming of a short video of Ms Marchbank walking towards the overgrown area, a Derby City Council worker offered to cut and clear the area as soon as possible. She said: “There are certain areas that are so overgrown. It’s not nice the way it was left. Sometimes we even had to cut the grass ourselves. I find that disrespectful; the council should deal with it.

A recent article said the cemetery was littered with trash, broken toilets and broken seats. There were also overturned headstones and some that were completely hidden by foliage.

It has also been reported that a new resident of the site, Rashpal Lal, has pledged to improve the appearance of the cemetery. Rashpal and his wife bought the former council-owned three-bed house last year for £200,000 with the aim of turning it into a community centre.

Sam Dennis, director of public protection and streetpride at Derby City Council, previously said: “We are saddened to see the damage and offensive graffiti at Uttoxeter New Road Cemetery. Cemeteries are places where our Residents should be able to reflect and remember their loved ones peacefully and this anti-social behavior is unacceptable.

“We have increased patrols by public protection officers on the site to deter anti-social behavior. And the clean-up team will assist bereavement services in cleaning up the site.”

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