Do you have a loved one or ancestor buried in Cupar cemetery?

The council is about to undertake a safety survey of headstones in Cupar and Inverkeithing cemeteries.
The council is about to undertake a safety survey of headstones in Cupar and Inverkeithing cemeteries.

People with relatives buried in Cupar Cemetery are being urged to stay in touch with Fife Council as an inspection of headstones gets under way.

Inspections are due to begin this Monday, February 20, with the aim of making sure the site is safe for public and staff.

Headstones found to be unsafe or in need repair will be labelled and next of kin will be contacted.

The inspection team will make headstones safe on a temporary basis while the council contacts the headstone owners to inform them of the need to repair the headstone.

Temporary repairs include erecting and securing the headstone to a post, or fencing off areas until they are made safe. Only where absolutely necessary, and as a last option, will a headstone be laid flat for safety reasons.

Along with Inverkeithing, Cupar is one of the first two cemeteries to undergo the checks.

Liz Murphy, service manager, bereavement services, said: “Fife Council has a duty of care to provide a safe environment in each of our 115 cemeteries and churchyards.

“We are undertaking these initial surveys to help us to scope out the work that’s likely to be required across Fife. Inspections will be undertaken by fully-trained staff.

“Where a headstone is found to be unsafe, lair owners will be contacted in writing and a sign attached to the headstone advising that there is an issue with its stability.

“Fife Council does not have the right or the responsibility to make repairs to headstones, and should the lair holder not make contact within the designated timescale, we will ‘trench in’ the headstone or, if necessary, lay the headstone flat to ensure safety.

“If a large area of unstable headstones is identified, the Council will cordon off the surrounding area until the area can be made safe.”

Cllr John Wincott, spokesperson for transport and environment, said: “Local people can help us by keeping their contact details up to date and by reporting any concerns.”