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Cemetery issues persist

ISSUES raised regarding the maintenance of Eastriggs and Dornock cemetery continue to persist despite agreements being made to rectify them at a recent meeting

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By Zac Hannay
Annan and Eskdale
Cemetery issues persist
PROBLEM UNSOLVED . . . grass at Eastriggs and Dornock Cemetery has been left lying in large clumps after being cut

Janice Johnston, from Eastriggs, was dismayed this week to find the cemetery in exactly the same messy state as previously.

Just over a fortnight ago, she organised a meeting for relatives to voice their concerns over the lack of maintenance at the burial grounds. Around 20 members of the public turned up to speak to, and hear from, council officials.

One major issue cited was the cut grass being left in heaps and looking like a ‘silage field’ with large clumps lying everywhere following a cut.

Going forward from the meeting it was agreed that the team looking after the cemetery would use a blower on the grass in open spaces to disperse it more evenly.

However, the grass has just been cut since then and left in the same state as before.

Janice frequently goes to the cemetery to visit her dad’s grave and she has been fighting for improvements to the general upkeep and maintenance of the area for seven years.

She said: “Why can’t they get a ride on lawnmower with a bit on the back to collect the grass?

“There’s more than enough room for them to come down and blow that.

“I just don’t understand why they spoke with us two weeks ago and they promised us this. I actually thought we were going to get somewhere.

“I just think that looks awful, really awful. They said they were going to use the blower and quite obviously they have not.

“We are talking about a cemetery, it’s a bit of compassion, a bit of common decency and I think they should be looking after it as best as they can.

“They say they don’t have the man power, but there is.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council say they did attempt to blow the grass, but the ground was too wet.

A council spokesperson said: “The Streetscene team did use the blower on the large areas of grass on Monday after the cemetery was cut. This was discussed and agreed at our meeting with the community on Tuesday July 11 2023.

“Unfortunately due to the very wet weather earlier this week, the blowers were not as effective as they are on dry grass and therefore did not disperse the grass as effectively.

“As discussed at the meeting, we are very grateful for the work that the community do to support the Streetscene team and if any community members would like to be involved within the cemetery, then officers would be more than happy to support individuals to do this.“Cut and lift was stopped and removed as a service across all cemeteries and open spaces in 2007 as part of the budget development process.”

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