Burial costs rise to help pay for headstone repairs

Headstone repairs are needed across Fife.
Headstone repairs are needed across Fife.

Burial costs across Fife are set to increase to help pay for repairs to headstones.

The cost of both full and casket lairs is set to go up by 8 per cent each year over the next three years, increasing to £340 and £812 respectively.

Around 60,000 headstones have been identified across Fife as needing repairs, at a cost of £4 million.

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Councillor Alex Campbell asked why the families aren’t tracked down to assist with the repairs.

Allan Paul, property services senior manager said: “In the past, the team spent time and effort to track down the families. It takes an enormous amount of effort to do and when we track them down, some are prepared to step up to the task, but obviously some are not.

“In the cemeteries, there are many headstones that are very old. Assuming we can work out who is buried there in the first place, there is no prospect that we will always be able to trace the families back.

“So at the moment, the approach we’ve taken is to just get on with it. But if the committee wants us to look and spend more time tracking them down, we’re happy to do that. But I’m concious that could mean spending money on staff time and bring in no results.”

He added: “Although the headstones aren’t ours, we still have a duty of care and responsibility over the health and safety of the cemeteries.”