11:46AM, Saturday 14 May 2022
Two community groups have formed to run maintenance projects in Windsor cemeteries – in the hopes of keeping them from falling into the same ‘awful’ state of last year.
The borough’s contractor Tivoli provides grass-cutting and other grounds maintenance services in its green spaces.
Last year, multiple visitors came forward to complain about the state of cemeteries in the borough.
At the time, cabinet member for environmental services, Councillor David Coppinger, apologised to the public for this.
Concerns have been raised this year too, particularly in Braywick Cemetery in Maidenhead.
In order to keep Windsor Cemetery (Spital Cemetery) and Vale Road Cemetery looking respectable, two ‘Friends of’ groups have been set up.
Volunteers pick up litter, trim back brambles and ivy, and make reports to the council of any issues that must be dealt with.
Alongside GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead, volunteers went to do a clear out there on Wednesday evening.
Clewer East ward councillor, Karen Davies (Lib Dem), is involved in the Spital Cemetery group.
“People were rightly very upset by the performance of Tivoli last year, the cemetery looked absolutely awful,” said Cllr Davies.
“What we’re doing isn’t intended to replace Tivoli. It’s really important they are held to account because we can’t do the heavy work,” Cllr Davies added.
The group is also looking into how to encourage wild grasses and flowers will keeping areas around graves well-cared.
“It’s a tricky path to navigate but we want to strike a good balance, to be respectful to the graves while not disturbing habitats or wildlife.”
Cllr Coppinger said Tivoli’s ‘prime purpose’ is grass cutting and maintenance of the areas around graves. Only at times will Tivoli trim back brambles and ivy or similar work.
“We fully encourage people who want to give [cemeteries] that extra touch – we will provide help, equipment and support where they need it,” said Cllr Coppinger.
“I don’t see it as a way of cutting costs – it’s adding value. We really want people to care for their own areas.”
Any interested residents can get in touch with Cllr Davies at email@example.com for the Spital group and Cllr Helen Price at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Vale Road group.
All lines are currently blocked between Reading and London Paddington stations due to a person being hit by a train.