Anger as Hartlepool cemetery flooding leaves graves underwater with loved ones unable to visit

Council chiefs say they are looking to find solution to flooding in one of Hartlepool’s biggest cemeteries.

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher said engineers are to come up with a scheme and costs to address waterlogging in Stranton Grange Cemetery after many councillors have received complaints from the public.

Waterlogged graves in Stranton Cemetery. Picture by FRANK REID

Waterlogged graves in Stranton Cemetery. Picture by FRANK REID

Some people have said their loved ones’ plots are under up to six inches of water.

The recent snow thaw is said to have made the issue worse but people have said it has been a problem for long time.

The issue was raised at a meeting of the council’s Finance and Policy Committee on Monday.

A new vehicle route through the cemetery is due to be created from the Brierton Lane entrance as part of £45,000 works.

A car driving through standing water in Stranton cemetery. Picture by FRANK REID

A car driving through standing water in Stranton cemetery. Picture by FRANK REID

A barrier will be installed at the Tanfield Road entrance and made pedestrian only.

Rural West Councillor Brenda Loynes said: “I was in there [on Sunday} I’m quite a regular visitor.

“I think the flooding is more urgent than stopping the traffic flow.”

Councillor Akers-Belcher said: “I’ve already been in discussions with Dave [Hunter] as chair of neighbourhoods and what I would like is a joint committee of finance and policy and neighbourhoods and for a report to come with a fully costed solution to the flooding for Stranton cemetery.

“I don’t know how long that’s going to take, but I think our engineers need to get that installed.

“We have all received complaints with regards to the flooding and we just need to have a look at a solution and see how much that’s going to cost.”

Coun Hunter later announced progress on the issue on the Town of Hartlepool Facebook page.

Cemetery visitors told on the page how they have been affected with one woman saying her family’s grave is like “a swimming pool” and is so bad the family cannot get near the plot sometimes.

Another person said: “In 30 plus years of visiting my mum’s grave, I have never known the cemetery to be as bad as it has been the last couple of years, so the flooding problem is definitely getting worse.”

Another added: “Went to put flowers on mam’s grave six inches of water disgusting that your loved ones are underneath this it’s very upsetting something needs to be done.”