Outrage over grass cutting at Ellon Cemetery

Residents have been left shocked at the state of Ellon Cemetery following recent grass cutting carried out by Aberdeenshire Council.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 7:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 7:11 am
From left: Bill Gibb, Steve Owen, Ian Thomspon, Cllr Gillian Owen, Elaine & Billy Christie, Ann Taylor and Muriel Smith.
From left: Bill Gibb, Steve Owen, Ian Thomspon, Cllr Gillian Owen, Elaine & Billy Christie, Ann Taylor and Muriel Smith.

The Friends of Ellon Cemetery was formed to assist the council’s Landscape Services Teams.

At it stands, the group is not permitted to cut the grass.

Cllr Gillian Owen said: “Locally residents know that the Council has resource issues both in terms of cash and people and I set this Group up having seen what the Friends of Turriff achieve.

“ The Group has been active for roughly three years, and I think everyone will confirm that the change in the Cemetery has been fantastic.

“Many people have taken to social media to express their shock and horror at the state the Cemetery has been left in, and commending the Friends on the work they have carried out which has completely changed, its now a place that is more respectful and a dignified resting place for loved ones.”

Cllr Owen continued: “The Group has been speaking with o fficers since November about us taking over the grass cutting.

"One of the biggest issues that hits my inbox is the state of the Cemetery once the grass has been cut and the cuttings left to rot.

"We felt we could take that over and ensure that the grass is maintained neat and tidy to respect those who are buried there and those who wish to visit to pay their respects.

“I have had exchanges with the Director and Chief Executive and hope this issue can be moved on.

"The Council must have a can-do attitude because with ever decreasing budgets we may need more community inclusion and barriers need to come down to achieve that.”

Friends of Ellon Cemetery took to Facebook to express their views on the issue.

The post read: “We would like apologise to the people of Ellon for the very poor state of the grass just now.

“We have been negotiating with Landscape Services since November last year and are hoping they will allow us to help cut some of the grass areas on a regular basis.

“Until the Council can get their protocols in place we are not permitted to cut the grass and the grass cutting is being done by the council itself.

"We feel that we are letting the citizens down badly especially since donations have been coming in as appreciation of the work we are doing.”