Grieving mum forced to remove love hearts and angels from baby daughter's grave by council over of 'health and safety'

A GRIEVING mum has been ordered to remove love hearts and angels from her baby daughter’s grave to maintain "respect and dignity".

Shocked Emma Riley, 29, was also told to take down a small fence surrounding the final resting place of tragic Ebony because of "health and safety concerns".

Little Ebony was stillborn in May 2017. Her family have placed small tributes in the cemetery in Selby, North Yorks, ever since and visit three days a week.

But Emma and her partner Craig Weaver, 32, have been told to remove the "unauthorised" items or face having them disposed of.

Heartbroken Emma told The Sun: "It forces us to relive our daughter’s death all over again.

"It just feels like reliving that day when we lost her. Having to take things off makes it seem like she doesn’t exist. 

"We have those small things there to comfort us." 

Not Alone

Emma has spoken to other mothers who have children buried in Selby Cemetery and many are facing the same heart-breaking issue.

Emma, Craig and their 17-month-old son Warren visit Ebony’s grave regularly.

The small plot is surrounded by a black railing and has small stones dedicated to Ebony on it alongside windmills, flowers, and a small flamingo. 

Emma added: "One of the other mums I was speaking to, her baby has been there for 11 years. 

"It seems like it has come out of the blue. We have had things there for nearly four years." 


In their letter Selby Town Council told Emma that an inspection had found "unauthorised tributes" on the grave. 

They gave Emma and Craig 28 days to remove the items before the council would step in to take them themselves. 

In their letter to Emma, the council said: "We work hard to create and maintain a respectful and dignified environment which is sympathetic to the landscape and to the people who visit loved ones at their place of rest."

A spokeswoman for Selby Town Council said it had responded following "complaints" from other grave owners.

She added: "The rules which govern the use of the cemetery are very similar to those used by many other local authorities and we seek to enforce these as sensitively as possible.

"There are various rules governing health and safety around the cemetery.

"Following a full discussion at Council it was agreed that rather than just remove items we would contact grave owners, explain the situation and ask that they please remove those items which were in breach of the rules."


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