Maintenance work on war memorials and closed churchyards will continue, the council has confirmed.

The Barnet branch of trade union Unison last week claimed workers had been told grass cutting, weeding, pruning and other maintenance of the borough’s war memorials and closed churchyards would stop on Monday (April 1).

The union listed 12 sites where it believed the work would no longer be carried out, including East Barnet Village War Memorial and Golders Green War Memorial.

It added: “to the best of our knowledge this decision has not been subject to any public consultation”.

The council has committed to making nearly £20 million of savings during the current financial year due to ongoing funding cuts by central government and increased pressure on key services such as adult social care.

As a result, it has been forced to cut spending on some services and find ways of raising extra money – including a 2.99 per cent rise in core council tax.

But the council has issued a statement denying maintenance work at war memorials and closed churchyards would stop.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “Any suggestion that we have decided to stop routine maintenance works on local war memorials and closed churchyards is misleading and simply not true.

“However, regular scrutiny of works programmes is essential in order to ensure value for money. This is also the case for the maintenance of war memorials and churchyards.

“The works programme for the next financial year is currently being finalised and will be agreed shortly. The works will resume in the new financial year.

“We’re also making good progress in providing a licence to Barnet War Memorials Association, so they can construct a new installation that will befit Finchley Memorial, whilst a grant application will be available shortly to help fund benches at suitable sites across the borough.”

John Burgess, branch secretary at Barnet Unison, insisted workers had been “clearly told” the maintenance services would stop on April 1.