Our cemetery is in need of some TLC

John and Fred Laing - highlighting the fall in standards of maintenence at Kinglassie Cemetery.
John and Fred Laing - highlighting the fall in standards of maintenence at Kinglassie Cemetery.

A GROWING number of residents in Kinglassie are becoming concerned with what they see as a fall in the standard of maintenance at the village cemetery reports, NEIL HENDERSON.

Unkempt lawns, increasing amounts of weeds growing amongst the gravel paths and a number of damaged and fallen gravestones are amongst the issues that have upset locals recently.

Brothers, John and Fred Laing are dismayed by the general fall in the overall maintenance of the grounds and feel the situation has got ‘significantly worse in the last 12 months.’

John Laing is now concerned that if standards are left to slip still further the cemetery will never be returned to what he described as a once ‘beautiful resting place.’

He told the Gazette: “This used to be an immaculate cemetery.

‘‘All the lawns were regularly cut and edged, graves were tidy and paths were always clean and free of weeds, but the standard of maintenance is a lot poorer nowadays.

“I’ve complained to the community council and local councillors and have even brought it to the attention of our local MP and MSP.”

The brothers also highlighted a number of fallen gravestones including one for a 15 year old boy who had been killed in the Kinglassie pit.

Fred said: “The stones have not been the target of vandals, it’s just a lack of regular attention that the cemetery grounds are subject to these days.”

One particular area of concern is a quantity of sand and gravel which has since been left to overgrow and has become a dumping ground which included at least one broken gravestone.

Liz Murphy, Fife Council’s bereavement officer and the person overseeing the running of the cemetery said: “We are aware of the problems and concerns that residents have voiced.

‘‘I’ve been assured that additional resources have been made available to tackle some of the issues.

“The poor weather has played a part in hampering maintenance and an added factor is that there has been an unusually high amount of internments at the Kinglassie site in the last 12 months which has restricted the amount of work that has been possible.”

But the issue seems not to be confined to the cemetery at West End as Tom Mickie, church officer at Kinglassie parish Church explained.

He said: “The grounds of the parish church are also the responsibility of the council and I put the problems down to cut backs in council spending, there’s not the same amount of attention given to the upkeep these days.

“I’ve lived in the village all of my 75 years and the situation is the worst I can ever remember, it quite embarrassing, especially when you get visitors coming to the church from abroad.”

Discussions at a community council consultation evening last Thursday included concerns regarding the cemetery.

At the meeting Councillor Betty Campbell said she had been made aware of the situation and added: “I will be looking into this matter to see if we can find a speedy solution.”