People are being reminded about a Hartlepool Borough Council-led campaign urging people to respect the town’s Stranton Cemetery.
The campaign aims to reduce problems faced by the cemetery that are caused by a small minority of visitors, including the theft of memorial items from graves, irresponsible dog ownership, unauthorised vehicle access and inconsiderate parking.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The majority of visitors to the cemetery treat it with respect and care, and we do not want to penalise these individuals by putting bans in place.
“We as a council work hard to maintain the cemetery as a special place where families and individuals can go to quietly reflect and grieve loved ones, and it is because of this we are keen to remind certain visitors to take due care and consideration when visiting the cemetery.
“This involves keeping dogs on leads, picking up their mess after them and parking considerately in either of the car parks at Inspirations Garden Centre, or adjacent to the cemetery’s Brierton Lane entrance.”
Councillor Dave Hunter, Chair of Hartlepool Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee, said: “Our campaign was launched to urge the small minority of cemetery visitors who cause problems to treat the graves and grounds with respect.
“While we understand mobility may be an issue for some visitors, we urge people to consider whether they need to drive in the cemetery.
“It remains vitally important that all vehicles that enter the cemetery are considerate of the graves and other visitors, and do not park on grassed areas, block roads or use the cemetery as a cut through to access other parts of the town.
“I would also stress that while there are plenty of responsible dog owners who follow the rules, those that do not must play their part by cleaning up after their dogs. There are dog dirt bins within the cemetery, or waste can be taken home for disposal.”
Stranton Cemetery is covered by a Dog Control Order stipulating that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
Dog owners who fail to co-operate are reminded they run the risk of receiving an £80 fixed penalty notice from Council Civil Enforcement Officers who regularly patrol the cemetery site.