CONGRATULATIONS to the Daily Echo on its front page story highlighting the disgraceful condition of war graves in Southampton’s South Stoneham Cemetery.

It is appalling that grass has been allowed to grow above the headstones of fallen First and Second World War soldiers. A military veteran quite rightly labelled it an “appalling act of neglect”.

And it is particularly sickening as the city prepares to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

You only have to look across the continent to see the way military cemeteries are lovingly cared for.

I hope the Daily Echo exposure shames the Southampton Council into taking action but I fear it will not.

It is yet another glaring example of city wide neglect. When the sun shines it graphically shows how scruffy this city has become. Is it council policy not to mow grass verges and open spaces?

Highway verges are so high that they are not only unsightly but pose a danger to motorists because they create blind spots.

They are also strewn with litter and I have only seen volunteer litter pickers tackling this problem. City roads are peppered with potholes with little action being taken to repair what is a life threatening situation.

Visitors arriving in cruise ships must be shocked at the rundown appearance of our city. It does make you wonder why we are paying council tax when all we seem to be getting is our wheelie bins emptied - and that collection cycle has been reduced.

The scale of neglect of our cemeteries is an insult to those war dead who fought so bravely to give us our freedom only to have their graves buried in grass.

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