Mourners take action over flooded Luton cemetery

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The Facebook group organised volunteers to check on graves and carry out repairs

Luton residents have donned wellies and spades to help after heavy rainfall revealed large holes near newly dug graves at The Vale cemetery.

After heavy downpours over the weekend volunteers from the Luton Keeping Safe Facebook group responded to a video on its Facebook page calling for action after large holes had appeared near some of the recently dug graves.

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People were urged to bring wheelbarrows, buckets and spades as well as wearing the right gear.

The rain has impacted on new gravesThe rain has impacted on new graves
The rain has impacted on new graves

“We as a community need to come together and help out,” people were urged on the group.

Late on Monday organisers said: “The teams who went today did a fabulous job. We would like to thank everyone for giving their time, we would also like to thank Mr Ismail for dropping off water and snacks for everyone.

“We want to encourage everyone who has loved ones buried here to come and visit the graves and check up on their conditions, as the bad weather continues it is likely that more graves may be affected.

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Some of the holes are quite deepSome of the holes are quite deep
Some of the holes are quite deep

“Some people have bought plastic sheets to put over the graves which may help against water going into the chambers.

“Not all graves could be inspected as there was plenty of work to be done.

“There's still graves that need attention so please do come up.”

Luton Council said while they appreciated offers of help, their teams were working to keep the situation at The Vale, on Hitchin Road, under control and monitoring the graves.

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In a statement the council said: “We want to reassure people that the settling of soil around recent graves is a normal process which can take up to a year, during which time they are regularly inspected and additional earth added where appropriate. The heavy rain over the last couple of days has caused this process to speed up, which we appreciate may have been upsetting for those whose loved ones have been recently buried.

“We have appreciated offers of help from some members of the public but please be assured that our teams have been working hard to keep this under control and, now this bout of exceptional rainfall has passed, will continue to monitor the graves until the land has settled.”

> What’s your view? Has your family been affected or have you helped out? Email [email protected]

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