PARTS of a Newport cemetery are in such a poor condition they are “demoralising” and distressing for families who visit their relatives’ graves, a bereaved father has said.

When John Perry and his wife went to tend to their daughter’s grave before Christmas, they found tyre tracks feet away from the plot where cars had driven onto the roadside verges, churning up mud and leaving unsightly puddles.

Grass was barely growing in some areas where a thick mulch of autumn leaves hadn’t been cleared away, and there were branches and pieces of litter strewn across the ground.

Mr and Mrs Perry’s daughter has been buried in Christchurch Cemetery for 32 years. During that time, Mr Perry said he had almost given up hoping things would improve at the Newport City Council-owned cemetery.

“It’s demoralising – I’ve tried and tried but I’m getting nowhere,” Mr Perry said.

“I’ve spoken to the council and discussed what to do, but it’s been ignored, basically.

“When we went up at Christmas, we were dismayed that it was all churned up with mud. It’s a kick in the teeth.”

The Perrys were shown a “nice little plot” in the cemetery when their baby daughter died, he said, but when it came to the funeral they were unimpressed by what they realised was still a work in progress.

“I think our daughter was the fifth baby buried in the cemetery,” he said. “It didn’t seem that tidy but we said we’d wait and see.”

But more than 30 years later, Mr Perry said he was still fighting for that area of the cemetery to be tidied up.

Following the Christmas visit, Mr Perry went to the council and was told his complaint would be passed on to the relevant department.

But when the Perrys went back to their daughter’s grave recently, the situation was the same.

He now lives in Pontllanfraith, and said the nearby cemeteries were immaculate in comparison to where his daughter was buried.

“There are three cemeteries near me and they’re all beautiful and kept properly,” he said.

“I looked into having her remains brought closer to home, but there was so much red-tape, so we struggle on and keep it as tidy as best as we can.”

A council spokeswoman said Newport City Council was investigating the complaint.