5 June 2016
Uniquely within Tutbury, the Parish Council objects to the installation of Wreath Holders. We believe their objections to be unfounded and many of those set out below are ones to which we have previously responded, often several times, over the last 12 months.
This will further delay the installation of the Wreath Holders.
The TWMPC’s response will be posted on this website within the next week.
Tutbury Parish Council Objections to the Wreath Holders
1. The parish Council have maintained the closed churchyard since the 1879 order. Very few problems have arisen. The walls are maintained, grass is cut trees are inspected and work carried out where necessary. The war memorial stands on the closed churchyard and has needed occasional repair by the parish council although ownership of the memorial is not recorded as being with the Parish Council. To mow around the new wreath holders will cause the contractor more work as he will not be able to mow the area, he will have to strim around the new structure this will increase the maintenance cost of the churchyard.
2. The recent proposal to keep Remembrance Service Wreaths on metal wreath holders until the following October is rejected by the Parish Council. The proposal is seen as unnecessary, unusual, out of keeping with tradition.
3. Tutbury Parish Council does not believe that this structure will be in keeping with the listed building. There is concern of how the wreaths and the holders will deteriorate and interfere with the view of the church. The council do not think that the poppy design is suitable for this historic area, as it does not contribute to the overall look of the wreath holders.
4. Tutbury Parish Council are concerned about what change in behaviour this structure may cause. It. is the Parish Councils’ overall occupier’s liability to ensure that the closed churchyard remains safe for all to use and would not want young people congregating or climbing on this structure. The wreath holders pose a potential target for vandalism and represents a possible danger to children. Tutbury Parish Council recommends that the East Staffordshire Borough Council Planning and Building regulations officers are consulted to ensure that the structure is safe and in keeping with the historic building, despite the email sent by East Staffordshire Borough Council received by the War Memorial Committee stating that this is not a requirement
5. The Parish Council risk assessment and insurance does not include provision for such metalwork, that responsibility will belong to the church should the installation go ahead and any claims for damage or injury will be complicated by the difficulty of knowing exactly who is responsible for which part of that corner of the closed churchyard and the itemsfixed on it.
6. The war memorial has a noticeable lean towards a cutting that provides a path up to the church from Church Street. The cutting is two metres deep measured square off at a distance of only 4.5 metres to the base of the column. Structural advice was sought by the Parish Council, that advice was accepted and adopted as council policy. In essence the advice was to monitor the lean and because of the slenderness of the column do nothing that might cause further movement. The council does not suggest that the installation of two metal wreath holders will directly cause further movement, but there must be concern that the church is prepared to impose changes and take on responsibility for that area when there may be a problem with the memorial that will bring significant cost should the memorial become unsafe. For the avoidance of doubt, should the wreath holder plan be approved the responsibility for it, maintaining the area around it and problems arising out of it will belong to the church.