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Mum told to remove memorial from baby son's grave because it isn't made of stone

Mum told to remove memorial from baby son's grave because it isn't made of stone

Leanne Thompson has been told to remove her son's memorial from his grave as it isn't made of stone

A devastated mum has been told to remove a memorial from her baby son's grave as it isn't made of stone.

Leanne Thompson, 35, from Grimsby, lost Callum in 2010 as a result of pneumonia.

Around a year ago, Leanne decided to have a new memorial installed, spending just under £600 for Agecroft Memorials to fit it at the Grimsby Cemetery plot.

The mum claims she contacted North East Lincolnshire Council to obtain permission to install the memorial, apparently being told it would be fine as long as the feature was fitted by herself or the external company.

However, Leanne was devastated to receive a letter from the council that stated the memorial was 'unauthorised' because it is not made of stone.

The letter, which has been viewed by GrimsbyLive, says: "Therefore I would be obliged if you could remove this memorial from the cemetery no later than 30th September 2023. After this date North East Lincolnshire Council reserve the right to remove this from the cemetery and will not accept liability for any damage caused by removal."

Little Callum died in 2010.
Grimsby Live/MEN MEDIA

While Leanne claims she received permission for the memorial over the phone, a spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council has stated that permission needs to be given 'in writing' but appreciated that it "can be upsetting when we ask someone to change a loved one’s grave."

"I spoke to the council because I wanted a memorial garden for Callum. Before I went ahead with it I rang them and told them it was made out of acrylic resin, and the man on the phone said: 'Normally it's stone, but leave it with me, I'll check and get back to you'," Leanne said.

"A couple of days later he got back to me and said I can have it as long as I can fit it myself, so I went ahead and had it fitted.

"Then this week, I received a letter saying it had been brought to their attention that an unauthorised memorial has been placed above the grave, and that I need to remove it by September 30.

"My heart went in my mouth and I just started crying. I was absolutely heartbroken."

Leanne says she has attempted to contact the council after receiving the letter, but has since run into a bit of difficulty.

The mum added that she can't understand what harm the memorial is doing to anybody, and believes she can design and decorate her son's grave as she pleases as she owns the land.

The memorial has been there for a year.
Grimsby Live/MEN MEDIA

A spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council told Grimsby Live: “Our staff are always willing to help families with any enquiries about cemetery regulations and how they apply to a loved one’s grave.

“The regulations have been in place for many years and it’s important that we treat all grave owners equally when dealing with such sensitive matters.

“All memorials must be installed by a registered monumental mason and comply with British Standards.

“This memorial is made of plastic, which quickly deteriorates and becomes brittle. In the past, we’ve found these memorials are easily damaged and when they break, they are very sharp.

“An application needs to be submitted and permission given in writing before a memorial can be installed. They also need to be insured.

“It can be upsetting when we ask someone to change a loved one’s grave and we have invited the family to speak with us to discuss this sensitive matter further.”

Featured Image Credit: Grimsby Live/MEN MEDIA

Topics: Parenting, UK News