SIGNAGE has been suggested to alleviate parking issues at Ringwood cemetery after a member of the council’s staff was “abused” during the school run.

Mayor, Councillor Tony Ring, told a meeting of Ringwood Town Council last week that there had been an “unfortunate” incident where a member of the council’s staff was “quite seriously abused” when the gate had been shut for a funeral which meant the car park was unavailable during school pick up time.

He said areas at the front of the cemetery and around it were used during the school run. But added: “The number of users who go into the cemetery, block up parking access and all the rest of it is horrendous, unless and until our staff lock the gate, which leaves them open to the abuse that occurred with one of our colleagues.”

Councillor Jeremy Heron said there was “no excuse for the behaviour”, but added: “I know how very difficult this is for the schools to do anything about. They do send out letters and ask people to be considerate to others. Very often it is a very small minority of people that cause the problem for others. I don’t think you can brand all parents and drivers with this.”

He said while the council allow the area to be used at drop-off and pick-up times as a courtesy, the gates were only shut for funerals.

He said: “We could do it everyday if we felt that was the only way we could control that use and stop people from being difficult about it. We try and accommodate and try to work together and we must ask the schools to put out that message to their parents.”

He suggested a councillor be present when the gates were shut so staff did not bear the brunt.

Cllr Ring said the majority of people were “absolutely fine”.

Deputy mayor, Councillor Philip Day felt there was a “lack communication” and signs could be put up to say funeral in progress to let people know what was going on.

This was welcomed by Cllr Heron who suggsted the signs could be put up the day before to give advance warning.

Cllr Ring said the council would liaise further with Ringwood Junior School.

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