By Connie Osborne Wednesday 20 February 2013 Updated: 20/02 23:30
A HEARTBROKEN widower has been unable to visit his wife's grave after the cemetery flooded.
Eddie Li, who lost his wife Priscilla to stomach cancer in July last year, decided to purchase a plot at Wythall Cemetery so he could stay close to her and visit her regularly.
But after her funeral service and burial Mr Li found it near impossible to visit her grave side when the site on Middle Lane became waterlogged.
He said: "Over the past three months this has become an increasingly difficult and stressful pastime due to the extreme neglect of the cemetery maintenance.
"This situation has since worsened and we are now unable to even get to my wife's grave due to the grounds more closely resembling a pond or bog. It's an impossible task to even walk to the grave.
"We have family in Ireland and the thought of them coming over to visit her plot looking like this is just heartbreaking.
"I don't want them to see it like this."
The Wythall resident said many other mourners shared his anguish.
"Numerous letters of complaint have been sent by both myself, members of my family and other patrons of the cemetery, however the problem is yet to be addressed.
"It's a huge sign of disrespect to the families buried there that this dereliction has been allowed."
The 59-year-old added he had also ordered a headstone to be fitted but had been warned there may be delays due to the poor ground conditions.
Patricia Harrison, Wythall Parish Council's executive officer and registrar, said the council was looking into the situation but could not do anything until the ground had dried out.
"We have never had this problem before.
"Our cemetery is beautiful all year round but it is the amount of rain water we have had since last July which the snow exacerbated," she said.
"It's a national problem not just affecting us, other cemeteries are suffering from large amounts of rain water too.
"We are planning to look into it as soon as the ground is dry enough to work on."
Miss Harrison added anyone concerned about the issue should contact her at the parish council on 01564 823149 and she would happily discuss the situation with them.
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