In Loving Memory steps up cemetery campaign
Campaigners calling for the Gibraltar Government to tackle the ‘inexcusable’ state of North Front Cemetery have written to Dr John Cortes, the Minister for the Environment, urging him to personally ensure the situation is tackled.
The group In Loving Memory has turned down an invitation to meet the minister, adding that its aim is to ensure the cemetery grounds are in a reasonable state, not take up his time.
“This isn’t about politics or point scoring, it’s about people feeling genuinely let down by the lack of focus on providing a dignified environment for graveside visitation,” said campaigner Eliza Victor.
“We know our response may seem severe, but we feel there is simply no excuse for allowing the cemetery to become as bad as it has.”
“We need to ensure that the present Government, or any future Government, understand that we will accept no excuse for allowing the taxpayer funded maintenance of our cemetery to slip like this.”
“We owe this to the hundreds of people who have signed our petition calling for the maintenance of the cemetery to be improved.”
In their letter, the campaigners rebut Dr Cortes’ assertion that he had not received a complaint since 2012.
They single out specific complaints relating to named individuals and said these have yet to be addressed.
“Whilst you claim that there have been a number of improvements over the past few years, you fail to acknowledge that under your watch the total disrepair in the cemetery has recently grown,” they wrote to the minister.
“There are numerous people who are paid to ensure that our cemetery is consistently kept in a reasonable condition, from you, the Minister in charge of it, right through to Cemetery Keeper and the actual maintenance team.”
“If there have been problems with resources, such as untidy contractors or inadequate staffing levels, something should have been done about them.”
The group added in its letter: “Ultimately you are accountable for the state of the cemetery and you need to make sure it doesn’t get like this again.”
In Loving Memory said it would happily meet with Dr Cortes once the proposed works had finished and a permanent solution including a robust maintenance schedule and regular assessments was presented to them.