OVERGROWN, disrespectful and disgusting – some of the words used to describe the state of Ilminster Cemetery this week.

The cemetery, on The Beacon, has been cut off from the town since the closure of New Road but residents say this should not be an excuse for allowing the site to become unkempt.

District councillor Kim Turner said she was disgusted at how overgrown the area was when she visited to lay flowers last week.

She added: “The grass is almost a foot high in places – my trousers were soaked from walking through the grass.

“The state of the cemetery is appalling and it should be kept nice out of respect for the people who are buried there.”

Another Ilminster resident, who asked not to be named, said he was greeted by overgrown thistles and weeds when he visited.

He added: “The grass is even growing over people’s floral tributes and gravestones.

Chard & Ilminster News:

“This is one of the main things it [Ilminster Town Council] is responsible for. You don’t see the town centre graveyard at the Minster getting into such a state. The council has a duty to the dead as well as the living and it’s lack of upkeep is disrespectful to the people of Ilminster resting there.

“This growth must be about two weeks; you can still see the dried grass from the last cut lying around.”

The grass appeared to have been cut at the end of last week and Ilminster Town Council’s clerk Joy Norris they were aware of the problem and described the cemetery as “not currently at the standard they would like it to be”.

Chard & Ilminster News:

She added: “We have only been able to cut it twice this year because it has been so wet underfoot; we have had to take equipment through Dillington Estate because the road is closed, and we have been a member of staff down.

“We hired an agency member of staff last week and we are doing our best to put it right.”

Chard & Ilminster News:

There were concerns over a large pile of rubble at the cemetery and Miss Norris said this was from the wall which had fallen into disrepair.

She said work was due to start imminently to level off a path and then the remainder of the stone will be taken to Herne Hill to help build a lookout.

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