AN ANGRY son believes council staff showed complete “disrespect” to his father’s grave by leaving a mess and damaging decorative plants left by family members.

Andrew Smale has visited his father, Archibald William Smale’s, grave every week since his death in 1989.

However, when Mr Smale visited the grave in the Worting Road Cemetery on June 10, the 51-year-old discovered dirt and rubble up the back of his dad’s grave and the decorative plants either side of the headstone had been trampled.

Mr Smale told The Gazette: “I was very angry and upset when I went up to see my dad on Saturday and to find the mess and damage that the council cemetery staff had made. It was just disrespectful as they trampled all over the whole area. There was chalk and dirt all up the back of the grave stone and there and been no attempt to clean it up.

“I feel that they have showed no respect for other people’s space and no respect for any upset caused.

“I know that I can replace the damaged plants and clean up the mess they caused but I do not feel that we should expect this unprofessional care that the council have shown.”

Mr Smale said the damage and dirty was caused by cemetery staff digging up a grave behind his father’s plot.

The 51-year-old said office staff had his details but did not give him a courtesy call to pre-warn him of the mess.

The cemetery is run by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council who said they take great pride in maintaining the graveyard.

Head of environmental services at the council Colin Rowland said: “We’re sorry to hear of this complaint and would encourage the resident to get in touch with us directly to discuss his concerns. We take great pride in maintaining the graveyard and want to hear about any cases where people feel our usual high standards are not being met.”