Royal Borough pressed on its maintenance of cemeteries

The council was pressed on its maintenance of cemeteries at a meeting this week following recent complaints over the condition of these spaces in the borough.

Last year, several residents expressed disgust over the long grass in spaces including All Saints and Braywick cemeteries, as well as Windsor Cemetery. 

Visitors claimed that the bad conditions were disrespectful to late relatives, with a lead councillor apologising for the state of these areas at a meeting in September.

Lead member for parks and countryside, Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray) was asked at a full council meeting on Tuesday whether the correct steps were being taken to ensure there would be no repeat of this.

Former councillor Ed Wilson, a resident of Clewer and Dedworth West, wanted to find out what ‘new things’ the borough is doing in relation to its cemetery maintenance.

Cllr Coppinger has previously said that officers were ‘working closely’ with its contractor Tivoli to meet the needs of the contract, adding last month that grass-cutting is ‘a major item we’ve got to improve on’.

“Work is ongoing with the service provider to ensure they have correct resources and equipment to deliver the services outlined in the grounds maintenance contract,” Cllr Coppinger said.

“Regular contract monitoring is carried out, with joint inspections of sites including cemeteries included in the contract management, to ensure that work is delivered to the correct standard and that key performance indicators are met.

“Additional staff have been employed on the contract to make sure that the work is completed.”

Cllr Coppinger added at Tuesday’s meeting that ‘we know there are many people who wish to help’ with regards to cemetery upkeep.

“One of the things we are very interested in doing is working with members of the public on helping us maintain graves,” he said.

The issue of bin collections was also raised to Cllr Coppinger on Tuesday following reports of missed bins since the council switched to fortnightly collections.

The lead member said: “The refuse collection contract is running to a high standard with a very low number of missed collections.

“In March there were only 19.26 missed collections per 100,000 collections, against a target of 60 per 100,000. This is now a high performing contract. Regular contract meetings are held with the contractors to ensure the service is running well.”

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