Ellon woman criticises cemetery maintenance

An Ellon woman has criticised maintenance work at a cemetery in the town.

Friday, 30th August 2013, 7:00 am
Alana Murray has criticised maintenance at Ellon's Castle Road cemetery.

Alana Murray was horrified to find ornaments at her twins’ gravestone in Castle Road had been damaged.

She claims careless grass cutting around the headstone was to blame.

Council bosses say staff take the utmost care around ornaments at their cemeteries.

But Alana, 33, who stays on the outskirts of the town, believes they are showing a lack of respect.

She told the Times she made the discovery when she visited the cemetery last Thursday.

The mum, who has an 18-month-old daughter, said: “I came down to pick up teddy bears that are normally sitting beside the headstone and found them scattered about.

“I noticed that the solar lights were knocked down and bent which I can only presume was done by a lawnmower.

“It was a bit of a mess and I had a round loveheart which was in three or four bits, and I’m presuming that was with a strimmer.

“The loveheart was sitting on the stone, so it should still be in one piece and wasn’t on the grass at all.”

Alana, who lost her twins through stillbirth in December, 2009, added that she had experienced damage before, although not to the same extent.

She said: “I would expect them to do a decent job and not leave it in the mess it was in.

“I don’t believe they are paying enough respect to where they are, and what they should be doing.

“I also think staff should be clearing up the grass cuttings - it looks so untidy.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Roads and Landscape Services, Philip McKay, said: “Landscape services staff take the upmost care not to disrupt ornamental arrangements when cutting grass at our cemeteries.

“Occasionally accidents do happen and we would encourage anybody who feels damage has been done by a member of staff, to contact our team.

“Grass cutting is carried out every ten working days but we do not collect cuttings unless there is an exceptional need.”