A council has removed a wooden cross placed on a grave. It was a temporary cross, placed while the family waited for a proper carved stone. Which, no doubt, would have been immediately laid flat in case it fell on someone. Councils are staffed by the feeble and the dim these days. None of them have worked out the health status of those graveyard tenants but I bet someone, somewhere, is working on a report. They are all non-smokers, you know, all those dead people. They have all stopped smoking, stopped drinking, stopped driving and are losing weight. You just know what that report is going to conclude, don't you?
Apparently the cross does not fit health and safety guidelines. It's two bits of wood fixed together. Who spends time writing guidelines on how that should be done? There's a photo of it in the article. It's not a couple of two-by-fours banged together with nails, it's a well made and polished piece of work.
Ah, but it's not Council work. You can tell that by the way it's nicely made. Not being Council work, it cannot be Council approved.
Health and Safety consider a three-foot plank with another plank fixed to it as dangerous. Even though it's stuck in the ground in plain sight, it's dangerous. Even though it is placed exactly where everyone would expect such a thing to be found, it's dangerous.
The authority said that because the cross stood about 2ft up from the ground it was a health and safety risk.
There is nothing dangerous about it. This is pure Council spite and malice.
Council spokesman Nick Yates said: 'There are a number of regulations we ask people to follow and our staff did discuss with the family what could be placed in the cemetery and we do give relatives written information to this effect.
Yes, the council own the dead now. You cannot decide what sort of memorial you leave for your dead, you can only do as instructed by the council. You cannot place a cross in a place where everyone with half a brain would expect to find a cross because some total moron might think he's in the railway station and trip over it while running for a train. Those Council staff could not even lay it flat on the grave. They took it away and dumped it in an alley.
'Our staff try to deal with all situations in a sensitive way.'
No, they don't. Ripping out a cross from a grave and dumping it in a back alley is not, even by my uber-cynical standards, 'sensitive'. It is spiteful and cruel and unnecessary. It wasn't even meant to be permanent and your staff knew it. It didn't fit with Council standardisation and that comes way higher on your staff's priority list than any concern for the relatives of the deceased.
If you did that to one of my family, Nick Yates, you would find that cross somewhere you wouldn't expect to find such a thing and believe me, it would sting for a long time.
I hope Health and Safety would fine you for having it there, too.