Havering cemeteries re-open and garden waste collections restart, council announces

Crow Lane Cemetery, Romford. Pic: John Hercock

Crow Lane Cemetery, Romford. Pic: John Hercock - Credit: Archant

Havering Council has announced the re-opening of the borough’s cemeteries and the resumption of garden waste collections.

Romford, Hornchurch, Rainham and Upminster cemeteries have opened again, from 9am to 7pm, under new government guidance. The South Essex Crematorium Gardens of Remembrance in Upminster are also available for people to visit again.

Social distancing guidelines will remain in place and the council is reminding residents to follow these rules when visiting the cemeteries.

Council leader Damian White said: “These new guidelines allow residents to visit the resting places of loved ones in our cemeteries which we know is important to them.

“We hope that this brings them comfort especially during these tough times.

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“But we do remind everyone to observe the social distancing rules when visiting the cemeteries, as we still need to help each other to keep safe.”

The council also confirmed it has resumed garden waste collections, which started on Monday, April 27.

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A spokesman said the service had been suspended as the council and contractors Serco decided to “take the difficult decision to prioritise the kerbside waste and recycling collections due to staff shortages around Covid-19”. The garden waste service will now resume for fortnightly collections “where staff resources allow”, the spokesman added.

Cllr White said: “I am pleased to be able to bring the garden waste service back.

“We know that this service is important to our residents who have contacted us and I have been working with our officers and contractors to get it back up and running as soon as possible.

“This is alongside the weekly waste collections which we have continued to sustain throughout the Covid-19 crisis – and I know that both are very important to our residents.”

The council leader also encouraged residents to compost in a bid to limit the amount of garden waste that needs collecting.

Residents who have already renewed their subscription for 2020-21 will receive a refund for the two garden waste collections that were missed at the beginning of April, the council spokesman said.

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