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Damaged gravestones leave families upset

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Damaged gravestones leave families upset
SORRY STATE. . . Dead grass and shredded flower heads scattered across the cemetary and the gravestones standing within it

THE state of the town’s cemetery continues to be a hot topic in Gretna.

And new community councillor Gordon Davidson said he’s had complaints now from six people about the mess left by the local authority’s grounds maintenance team, who mow the grass in there.

Speaking at Wednesday’s community council meeting, Mr Davidson, who is also Gretna’s current community champion, said: “I make it my goal to clean up the grave sites across Gretna, from mowing the grass every few weeks to cleaning around 75 individual graves a week.

BEFORE. . . Linda Anderson’s family graves with brand-new fencing provided by Gordon Davidson

“I have seen how the equipment used by these teams are damaging not just fencing, but the gravestones themselves.

“The people buried in these cemeteries worked hard their entire lives, and their resting places are being damaged. I find it very disrespectful.”

He added: “Five people have already come to my door to complain and ask for help, and that is unusual. I will always help families and go the extra mile to help everybody.”

It comes after complaints last week by Linda Anderson, who believes her parents’ and grandparents’ graves were damaged during mowing.

She expressed frustration at a lack of response from Dumfries and Galloway Council on the issue, saying: “Speaking to the council about matters like these is like talking to a brick wall.

“It isn’t just my family’s graves that have been damaged and covered in grass, I am not the only one who has to clean it up.

AFTER. . . The fencing of the graves badly mangled after a recent clean by the Grounds Maintenance Team

“This entire ordeal has made me burst into tears, something needs to be done.”

Responding this week to the Annandale Observer, a spokesperson for Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Streetscene team are very aware of the sensitivities of working within our cemeteries and are very careful when working in these areas.

“Occasionally accidents happen and when they do we will contact the lair holder to apologise and discuss further.”

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