Fife Council criticised over Cupar office closure

Burial office enquiries can still be logged at the Local Office.
Burial office enquiries can still be logged at the Local Office.

Fife Council’s handling of its decision to close Cupar Burial Office has been criticised by a local councillor.

The burial office, used by funeral directors and sculptors, closed last Friday, with many of the services now being delivered from Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy.

The council said the decision was made because there are not enough staff with the specialist knowledge required to manage the workload.

The burial office holds the records for cemeteries and most of the churchyards in the area, and is often used by people carrying out family history research. These records will also be transferred to the offices in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy.

Councillor Margaret Kennedy said she is “disappointed” that the local authority did not assess staff over the years.

Cllr Kennedy said: “While I am very disappointed about the cessation of access to burial records at the County Buildings I recognise the staffing challenges.

“However, given the situation that has been known for quite some time, it is extremely disappointing that Fife Council did not carry out an impact assessment on staff changes over the years with regards specialist knowledge and skills. Succession training may have mitigated the current position.

“In order to retain local access to records, an integral element of both local family law requirements and our visiting populations, I have suggested officers link with Fife Family History Society to see if any partnership work could be created.”