Aberdeenshire Council is set to invest £25,000 at Peterhead’s Grange Cemetery after complaints about the condition of the ‘phase 2’ area.
Family members of those interred in the second phase of the cemetery had raised issue with the fact that the area was not up to the same standard as the phase 1 area.
The the family members, who did not wish to be named, got in touch with the Buchanie after being unable to take a relative in a wheelchair along the phase 2 path to visit a lair.
The distraught relatives, who have been in contact with the council on a regular basis since October last year, spoke of the distress the condition of the phase 2 area had caused them.
They had noted that the phase 1 area was in good condition and that they felt discriminated against as well as being deeply saddened that the cemetery is not the same standard throughout.
The paths in phase 2 are currently laid with stones as opposed to tarmac making wheelchair access difficult. They are also narrower than those in phase 1 and as a result ground surrounding the lairs has seen significant damage.
Drainage has also become an issue with flooding over the winter months damaging the ground.
In a statement to The Buchanie, Director of Infrastructure Services Stephen Archer said: “The council is investing £25,000 to improve paths within Grange Cemetery in Peterhead as part of its landscape capital programme which will see works carried out to open spaces, parks, burial grounds and more across the area.
“We are aware of concerns regarding Grange Cemetery in Peterhead and can assure the public that we are working to address these issues within the context of ground and weather conditions and with respect to visitors.
“We have developed a programme of additional path surfacing and drainage for the extension with phase 1 of the programme completed last year. Funding is now in place for phase 2 which will see an extension and widening to what has been installed as well as additional paths and drainage for the remaining unused sections.
“Our cemetery staff work hard to try and limit any ground disturbance when accessing the area to excavate for an imminent interment. We always try to keep any surface damage to an absolute minimum when working on a lair and make any necessary repairs as soon as is possible.”
The council also confirmed that the cemetery had been extremely busy in the last six months and unfortunately when ground conditions and weather have been poor the surface has suffered.
It also wished to note that ground conditions at Grange Cemetery can be challenging when work is carried out due to the way water drains from the land and in relation to footpaths within the extension at Grange Cemetery these are smaller as demand for burial ground has increased across Aberdeenshire.
Work is expected to commence on the cemetery in June however the extent of the improvement is not yet known as Aberdeenshire Council confirmed difficulties in developing the paths to the same standard as phase 1 of the cemetery due to the nature of the ground.