Daughter pays mum’s grave a Mothers’ Day visit to find ‘parking ticket’ attached to her headstone

A woman who was visiting her mum’s grave on Mother’s Day found a ‘parking ticket’ warning her its decorations were too big.

Sarah Handley said the letter from Stockton Council, which resembled a parking fine, told her the grave decorations were one inch oversized.

The nurse, whose mum Shirley passed away three years ago, had gone to Thornaby Cemetery on Sunday to place flowers beneath the headstone.

But instead she discovered the warning from Stockton Council which said the decorations were encroaching on a neighbouring grave.

But the 46-year-old, who lives in Hemlington, said it wasn’t so much the warning that bothered her but rather the way it was delivered.

‘It sounds pathetic to be arguing over a grave, but I’m really upset and annoyed,’ she told Gazette Live.

‘My mum was such a lovely woman and she doesn’t deserve this.

‘The reason I’m so upset with the council is because of the way they have tried to contact me.’

Stockton Council’s cabinet member for environment and housing, Mike Smith, said the council understand people ‘may wish to personalise their loved one’s grave’ and it tries ‘to be fair to everyone.’

‘We have been trying to contact Mrs Williams for some time as a kerbstone from her mother’s grave is encroaching onto a neighbouring grave,’ he added.

‘As we could not get in touch with Mrs Williams we placed a letter on the side of her mother’s headstone two weeks ago – she has now been in touch and we have arranged for her to meet a member of the Bereavement Services team on site to discuss this further.’

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