VILLAGERS in Kinghorn are calling on Fife Council to act now to secure a new cemetery site for the future.
The appeal comes after news that the graveyard serving the village has only limited interment space left.
Rev. Jim Reid, minister at the parish church, said he had been shocked when he contacted the Council’s bereavement services, to be told that burial plots were no longer available.
“I phoned anonymously, after some people had voiced concerns, and I said that if I died I wanted to be buried in Kinghorn and asked what the position was.
“I was told that, if I didn’t have a plot already, I would have to go to Burntisland or Kirkcaldy.
“I am concerned that people, many who have lived all their lives in Kinghorn, and who naturally thought that when they die they would be buried in the village cemetery, no longer have that assurance.
“About ten years ago the Council was discussing the issue of a new cemetery at the loch, but nothing seems to have been done. People now can’t buy plots in Kinghorn.
‘‘I think that the powers that be in the Council really need to get their act together and get something arranged for the fast approaching day when there are none left.”
George Kay, councillor for the village, said he had asked for information on how many plots were left in the cemetery in time for tonight’s Community Council meeting.
“What we need is a public consultation to see just how important an issue this is for people in the village,” he said.
“Burial is no longer as popular as it was.
‘‘If there are 100 spaces left and we only bury 10 people a year then it is not such a pressing issue - but if it is much higher than that then we need to do something about it.
“What I have been told is that if someone from the village dies and they want to be buried then they won’t be turned away. It is just that no plots are being sold because of limited space.”
Liz Murphy, bereavement services manager, said: “There are still a number of lairs available in Kinghorn Cemetery. Although it is reaching capacity, the council has a policy that the advanced sale of lairs is not permitted in cemeteries which are nearly full.
“There are a number of cemeteries across the Kingdom in this position, which is one of the reasons why the Council is currently in the process of reviewing its strategy for the future provision of cemeteries in Fife.”
Plans for a woodland burial site on the north side of Kinghorn Loch were discussed back in 2008-09, but despite agreement with local groups, nothing came of them.
And outline plans lodged by a developer for a traditional cemetery site adjacent to housing and a care home were withdrawn amid fears that it would deter potential home owners.