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Anger after council asks relatives to clear graves at North Devon cemetery

The council sent a letter asking for flowers and tributes to be removed Photo: ITV West Country

Relatives are angry after being told they can't leave tributes to their loved one by graves at a cemetery in Barnstaple, North Devon.

Plot owners received a letter from the council asking them to clear grave sights for safety reasons.

Flowers will have to be removed from gravestones Credit: ITV West Country

Friends and relatives of those buried at the cemetery say the request is heavy handed and want the decision to be reconsidered.

Tammy Harrington lost her father to throat and lung cancer in 2014. She says she's disgusted at the council's request.

Among those recently buried is Katie Gammon a teenager who died after a long battle with cystic fibrosis.

ITV interviewed Katie Gammon when she was 15 Credit: ITV West Country

The teenager raised thousands of pounds for charities that had helped her with sponsored walks following an operation.

Her family say they were devastated after receiving the council's letter.

The council issued this statement:

"The reason we have to request tributes are collected after a grave has settled is because it enables us to maintain the cemetery lawn better, reducing the risk of a strimmer or mower striking articles on a grave, which can also pose a risk to passers by. It also ensures we can dig grave spaces either side of a plot."

– North Devon District Council