Call to tidy up ‘neglected’ remembrance gardens

The garden has been branded 'a disgrace'.
The garden has been branded 'a disgrace'.

The state of the “neglected” remembrance gardens at Kirkcaldy Crematorium has come under fire, with it being branded “a disgrace”.

Many people visit the gardens to scatter the ashes of loved ones or visit the stones and plaques laid to remember those they have lost.

But now items have been stolen from remembrance spots, and grass just left lying after being cut instead of raked away.

Brian Rodden (48), visits the site twice a week to remember a number of relatives, including his mother and grandparents.

“It’s in a pretty poor state. It’s not being maintained.

“I went in and spoke to staff at the office who told me they only had one guy that comes now and again to tidy it up, which I find totally unacceptable when you consider that people are paying £500 for a stone and a plaque.

“Where’s all that money going? We’re told that some of that money is going towards the upkeep of the gardens.

“There’s kids hanging about there at the weekend. You go up there and the benches are all overturned.

“People put little ornaments and things next to the stones, I’ve had a couple of things stolen, I know of another two or three others who have had things stolen.

“I know other people have complained about the state of the gardens, but they’ve just got to the end of their tether.”

Brian says that the state of the garden is worse at the weekend with kids hanging round the area.

“You go up on a Sunday and there are benches overturned, and it’s not the wind as they are a fair weight,” he said.

“It’s sacred ground, people have got ashes scattered there.

“We’re not asking for things to be spotless, but at least it could look like they’re keeping it tidy.

“They cut the grass then don’t even rake it up. The cuttings are just left.

“You can walk round those gardens and count how many stones there are, there’s a lot of money goes into that place and I don’t think we’re seeing anything coming back regarding the upkeep, it’s a disgrace.

“It’s in a pretty poor state. The place is just a shambles”

Liz Murphy, bereavement services manager, said: The grass around the crematorium and in the gardens is cut weekly dependent on the weather, in periods of heavy rain the cutting will be less frequent.

“The access road is cleared every morning, and at the moment we have a mechanical road sweeper attending the site twice a week to clear the roads. We also have staff working at clearing the leaves from the gardens, but in the autumn this is obviously a huge task.

“There are some issues with soft ground in the gardens which we have addressed over the years with additional drainage but it has been a particularly wet summer. We will continue to monitor the ground.

“Unfortunately, the benches can sometimes be blown over when there have been high winds but these need to be movable to help us with grass cutting. Staff will always try to right them as soon as possible if this has happened.”