I’m furious after council jobsworths threatened to rip down the fence on my baby’s grave… their rules are pathetic | The Sun

A GRIEVING mum is locked in a furious battle with council jobsworths who have threatened to rip down the fence on her baby's grave.

Hollie Bourne from Folkestone, Kent, has been ordered to tear down the little picket fence around her daughter's grave by August 9.

She lost Ava last year after complications in delivery and laid her to rest in the new baby garden at Hawkinge Cemetery.

A small white fence borders Ava's grave where Hollie and her four-year-old go to remember the stillborn baby.

The family have decorated the site with fairy lights, animal ornaments, and colourful windmills – most recently placing down candles, flowers and balloons ahead of what would have been Ava's first birthday.

So Hollie is outraged that the council is demanding she take down the fence in less than two weeks time.

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They have also informed her someone will come to remove it on August 9 if she refuses to take action.

Hollie pointed out that most of the graves in the old baby garden have similar fences.

She told Kent Live: "It has had a massive impact on our life. Why should Ava be any different to the other babies?

"I have spoken to many people who have said that the baby garden is the most beautiful part of the cemetery because of their fences and decorations."

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The bitter row has been ongoing since the council first instructed Hollie to remove the fence in December.

After she refused, they eventually took down the grave's border and tributes themselves in March – Hollie replaced it.

In the past year, the devastated parent has amassed 3,139 signatures for her petition against the order.

And now fuming Hollie is asking people to "take a stand" with her around Ava's garden on August 9.

She wrote: "I will do anything in my power to make sure Ava has her fence, however my power alone isn’t strong enough.

"It would mean the world to us, if we can all come together and show the council just how many people disagree with their pathetic rules, we’ve got to be able to do something."

The bereaved mother admits that she signed an agreement at the funeral directors after Ava's death not to put up a fence.

"We were days into our grief. We would have signed anything to get the funeral process moving," she said.

But mum Hollie insists the fence is important to her and her four-year-old daughter who enjoys spending time at the garden.

She said: "When we are up seeing Ava, we bring my four-year-old daughter with us, who loves being in Ava's garden.

"We have to make a line next to the other baby next to us so my daughter ‘knows where the middle is’ so she doesn’t step on the other babies."

A letter from the council to Hollie stated that the lawn area must remain clear at all times for maintenance and grass cutting.

It read: "We have been made aware that items have been placed on the lawned area of the above grave."

It added: "We understand that this is a sensitive matter and that historically some of the older baby graves do have items on the grass that the owners were not asked to remove at the time but you were made aware by the funeral director before the funeral that this is a new plot and the cemetery regulations would need to be followed.

"You signed an agreement to this effect and were reminded of this earlier this year."

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The letter said flower pots and other small tributes could be put on the headstone channel of the grave, but clearly outlined that the fence must be removed.

The council said in line with regulations, any items left on the grave after August 9 would be disposed of without warning and not kept for collection.

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