A NUMBER of local people have been left shocked and angry after visiting gravestones at Brechin Cemetery only to discover that a number of graves in the area are sinking.
When Mary Duke recently visited the gravestones of her parents she found access to the graves was through a muddy field which had been churned up by vehicles travelling across the grass.
Not only did this make walking on the grass difficult but she claims that it looked to have caused many graves to sink.
Mary said: “The land where the graves are is extremely muddy. It is hard to access the graves because there are no paths available to walk on.
“I have been told that it would be too expensive to make paths and instead they left some boards on the grass to help you walk.
“But, when I went to visit the gravestones at the end of January all the boards were in a pile and there was no way that they could be used to walk on.
“When I got to my parents’ graves I was shocked to see that a truck had driven across them causing the graves to sink. It is disgraceful.
“Thankfully they are okay now but many graves in the area are still sinking. It is just terrible.
“There is also an issue with cemetery staff drying their cloths on gravestones.
“A couple of years ago they had the cloths pinned up on the walls where they were working. My husband called and complained about them because they were over people’s gravestones.
“They took them down then but now they have put the cloths over the gravestones to dry.”
It is not just Mary’s parents’ graves which have been affected. Across the cemetery a number of graves are sinking to the ground.
Even some of the more recently deceased locals are being effected by the ongoing situation.
In response to the situation a spokesperson for Angus Council said: “We are aware of sunken graves at Brechin Cemetery and are currently undertaking remedial works as ground conditions allow.
“During inclement weather it is difficult to consolidate ground after a burial and we have to ‘top up’ the levels, sometimes more than once. Recent snow and frosts have prevented us from doing so.”
Councillor Marie Evans responded to this problem by saying: “The plots there cost a lot of money anyway and to go along and visit them and see them in that sort of state is disgraceful.
“I will have to speak to the council about it and try get a time-line for it.
“I think pressure needs to be put on to get the matter sorted and to get a survey done to find out what the problem is.
“I feel that getting a path created in the graveyard to allow people too access the graves is something that I will need to take to the Council.
“I think it is something that really needs to be taken care of and addressed. I don’t see how we can be charging people quite a lot to be having these plots and then not even being prepared to give any proper access in to reach these graves, especially if it is raining and the ground is going to be soggy and if there is this problem with the graves.
“It is only fair and right and decent that they put in a proper pathway in so that people can access these graves.
I will definitely be talking to the council and putting pressure on them, so see if anything can be done.”