Communities are being asked to partner up over cemetery upkeep

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Communities are being asked to consider partnering up with Argyll and Bute Council to help maintain graveyards.

Hot weather has seen a growth spurt of grass and weeds in cemeteries across the district but has also sparked complaints.

Kilninver, Taynuilt, Appin and Oban’s Pennyfuir cemeteries were among those reported as overgrown.

People at Kimelford and Kilninver Community Council heard numbers of funerals had also gone up recently which meant they had to take precedence over maintenance jobs – although workers were now ‘catching up’.

Councillor Elaine Robertson said: ‘It’s not just here. It’s been everywhere’ and added she had been speaking to other communities, seeing if there was any interest in them working with the council to look after their own cemeteries.

Cutting responsibilities would still be down to the council but weeding and edging could be taken on by interested villagers, she said.

Concern was expressed at the meeting about the risk of the community getting sued if someone got hurt as a result of villagers’ maintenance efforts but they were told Argyll and Bute Council and community councils should have insurance to cover that.

The community council is now taking the partnership idea to the church community before reporting back to their Argyll and Bute councillors.

Dalmally resident Graham Mackechnie contacted The Oban Times about the state of cemeteries.

He said the one in Dalmally, which has since been cut, was so bad people could have made hay from it.

He said council cuts over the years had seen cemeteries neglected.

‘When my granny died years ago the cemetery was immaculate. When my brother died last year we had to spend a couple of hours ourselves to tidy round. They’ve lost manpower through all these cuts. If there’s too much work to be done, then some of the council top-heavy paid managers should come out and give them a hand,’ he said.