Un­safe graves to be laid flat

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS -

Res­i­dents who fail to main­tain their loved ones’ me­mo­rial in an Ar­gyll and Bute ceme­tery risk hav­ing it cor­doned off, a re­port has warned. Mem­bers of the coun­cil’s en­vi­ron­ment, devel­op­ment and in­fra­struc­ture com­mit­tee have con­sid­ered an up­dated pol­icy for the main­te­nance and safety of ceme­ter­ies in the area. A re­port to the com­mit­tee states that around 45 per cent of in­for­ma­tion on lair hold­ers – those per­mit­ted to bury loved ones in a plot – is thought to show peo­ple who are still alive. A warn­ing is given that any me­mo­ri­als thought by coun­cil staff to be un­safe will be laid flat on the ground, in­scrip­tion side up, at the next in­spec­tion. Mul­ti­ple un­safe me­mo­ri­als in the same area will mean the zone is cor­doned off. Ceme­ter­ies are in­spected ev­ery three years, but the next one could be im­mi­nent af­ter rec­om­men­da­tions by Sher­iff Linda Rux­ton as part of a fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry ear­lier this year into the death of young Ciaran Wil­liamson at Craig­ton ceme­tery in Glas­gow. Eight-year-old Ciaran died in­stantly af­ter an un­safe head­stone fell on him at the ceme­tery in May 2015.

Re­spon­si­bil­ity

A re­port for the meet­ing com­piled by ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of devel­op­ment and in­fra­struc­ture Pippa Milne said: ‘The re­spon­si­bil­ity for me­mo­rial up­keep and main­te­nance rests with the burial lair owner. ‘Where de­tails of the burial lair owner are known they will be con­tacted re­gard­ing any works that are re­quired to be car­ried out on me­mo­ri­als. ‘Where me­mo­ri­als pose an im­me­di­ate dan­ger and/ or own­ers can­not be traced, me­mo­ri­als will be laid on the ground, in­scrip­tion up. ‘This pol­icy doc­u­ment has been pro­duced fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of Sher­iff Rux­ton’s de­ter­mi­na­tion of the Craig­ton Ceme­tery, Glas­gow, fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry on Jan­uary 22, 2018. ‘The pol­icy doc­u­ment sets out the in­spec­tion regime for the 131 ceme­ter­ies in Ar­gyll and Bute and also sets out what ac­tion will be fol­lowed should a dan­ger­ous or po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous me­mo­rial be found.’

When me­mo­ri­als pose an im­me­di­ate dan­ger and own­ers can­not be traced, me­mo­ri­als will be laid on the ground, in­scrip­tion up.

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