Swift action taken to clean up cemeteries

Strathmiglo cemetery bin
Strathmiglo cemetery bin

FIFE Council has moved to improve the state of village cemeteries after the Fife Herald passed on the concerns of a number of readers.

The poor upkeep of council-maintained burial grounds had been attracting the ire of people across north east Fife.

Robert Allison, chair of Strathmiglo Community Association, wrote to the Herald last week after finding the village cemetery in a “disgraceful” state.

But this week he got in touch again to praise the council for acting quickly to solve the problem.

Mr Allison wrote: “May I congratulate Fife Council on the transformation in and around Strathmiglo cemetery.

DISGRACE

“Following my letter in last week’s Herald, weeds have gone, litter bin cleared and damaged water tap repaired.”

The state of Ceres cemetery had also come under fire, with one former villager branding it a “downright disgrace”.

The woman, who asked not to be named, was visiting her father’s grave on the weekend of the Highland Games.

She said: “The cemetery was a downright disgrace — it was like it had been abandoned.

“There was hardly any grass, the bin was stuffed full and the water pipe was broken.

“Villagers who left the area come home for the games and they’ll have gone up to the cemetery to visit family graves like me.

“I was ashamed of what they’ll have seen.”

PRAISE

According to Cupar resident Douglas Provan, the problem at Kemback is the ‘fencing’ being put up around a number of graves to stop wildlife eating the flowers.

But Mr Provan was quick to praise the council for their general upkeep of the cemetery.

He said: “Kemback is a lovely little country cemetery but I feel it’s being spoiled by the chicken wire and metal railings that people are putting up.

“It contravenes the council’s burial ground regulations.

“There’s no complaint against the general upkeep of the cemetery — the council men do a great job and it’s looking nice at the moment.

“But they’re going to find it harder to keep tidy with all the junk around the graves.”

Speaking after hearing of readers’ concerns, Fife Council’s bereavement services manager Liz Murphy vowed that the local authority was working to address the various problems.

She said: “We are aware that there are some issues with the standard of maintenance at present within some of our cemeteries in Fife.

“We are currently working to address this and reviewing our resources in order to do this.

“Unfortunately the periods of poor weather have also hampered our maintenance programme.

“Ongoing problems with taps have been already been reported for repair and are being followed up.”