ANGRY residents have been left questioning the management of a council cemetery after the gates remained locked hours after they were due to open.

- and the site has a history of similar issues.

The entrance to Poole Cemetery on Dorchester Road is scheduled to open at 9am every morning, excluding from Christmas Day to New Year's Day, when the gates are supposedly unlocked at 10am.

However, visitors were left queuing until gone 11am last Saturday (6.1), with a number of cars parked along the road into the cemetery.

In December 2016 the Daily Echo reported how relatives were left for two hours on Christmas Day as council officers failed to unlock the gates.

Witnesses at the time described "chaotic" scenes, with some visitors breaking down into tears.

Relatives say they are 'extremely disappointed' by the latest issues over opening hours.

One Poole resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was left waiting from 9am on Saturday, to lay flowers on his late father's grave.

"It's been a nightmare to be honest and happened to me three times in the last month or so," he said.

"The council just don't seem to care. It cost around £2,000 to have my father buried there. They were happy to take the money, but fail to do their job properly.

"I go to the cemetery with my mother on Saturdays. She is elderly and ill and she was heartbroken.

"It is right they lock the gates overnight and I accept that, but an opening time is an opening time and they need to stick to it.

"You just want to be able to go and visit your relatives and that opportunity is being deprived."

The resident says he has filed complaints to Borough of Poole, but he feels like it is 'always one step forward and two steps back'.

A spokesperson for Borough of Poole said: "During weekdays the entrance to Poole cemetery are unlocked by the cemetery maintenance team. On weekends and public holidays the street cleansing take on the responsibility.

On Saturday 6 January, the entrance gates to Poole Cemetery were not opened on time due to a staff error.

"We are very sorry for the upset and inconvenience this caused to families affected and we have spoken with all staff to ensure that this error does not occur again.

"Borough of Poole has not been made aware of any incidents occurring prior to Christmas."