Council announces safety blitz on Fife’s cemeteries

Council announces safety blitz on Fife’s cemeteries

Fife Council is set to commence safety inspections of headstones in cemeteries across the region.

First inspections of Inverkeithing and Cupar cemeteries will be used to inform a broader inspection programme of all 115 Cemeteries in Fife.

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.

Headstone deemed unsafe are to be laid flat for safety reasons.

Fife Council is seeking to raise awareness of the fact that these works are set to start soon, and is asking local people who have kin within these cemeteries to get in touch.

This will ensure that any lairs/ headstones are both made safe and meet the requirements of relatives.

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 for both the public who visit them and council staff who work there.

graveyard headstones

“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.”

The Council will place signs at the entrance to those cemeteries or churchyards where inspection work is underway to raise awareness of these inspections.

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