Plea for cash to make cemetery safe again

New Kilpatrick Cemetery, Bearsden
New Kilpatrick Cemetery, Bearsden

Questions are being asked about how the council will spend the extra money they make by raising the price of burials by 50 per cent.

In response to last week’s story in The Milngavie and Bearsden Herald - which revealed that cash-strapped East Dunbartonshire Council plans to hike the cost of burying your loved ones - a Milngavie woman says the cash should be spent on maintaining New Kilpatrick Cemetery in Bearsden, which has fallen into a bad state of disrepair.

She argued that if the council is going to make an extra £89,000 a year from this policy, some of this should be used to look after graveyards

Mrs Jean V. McKeown from Milngavie regularly visits the cemetery with her husband to place flowers at their daughter’s grave.

They keep their own plot tidy but the paths have become so slippery and covered with moss and decaying branches that she is worried that they will fall and injure themselves.

An elderly friend of theirs has stopped visiting her husband’s grave after she fell on a path.

Mrs McKeown, who is in her 80s, said: “I am waiting with baited breath to see if a percentage of this money will go towards the maintenance of the whole of New Kilpatrick Cemetery in Bearsden, not just the entrance.

“Once you come to the top of the hill (where the excess earth is stored) the grounds are badly in need of attention.

“The paths between the graves cannot be walked on as they are covered inbroken branches and slippery underfoot. I realise costs have to increase, but what are we going to get in return?

“The difference between New Kilpatrick and Bishopbriggs is like day and night.

“Bishopbriggs looks like it’s much better kept - it’s very neat and tidy.”

Grace Irvine, director of East Dunbartonshire Council’s neighbourhood services, said: “We are sorry to hear of this woman’s concerns about New Kilpatrick Cemetery.

“Our cemeteries staff will investigate her concerns and take any necessary action.

“In relation to the increases in cemetery costs and how these impact on maintenance, residents can be assured that the council will maintain cemeteries to a high standard and will react appropriately to any issues that may be raised by residents.”