Plea to stop grave site at Eyemouth Cemetery being defaced

Eyemouth Cemetery (Scottish Monumental Inscriptions)Eyemouth Cemetery (Scottish Monumental Inscriptions)
Eyemouth Cemetery (Scottish Monumental Inscriptions)
Grave ground damage at cemetery on three occasions, meeting hears.

A plea has been made after a grave site at Eyemouth Cemetery was defaced on three separate occasions.

Council bosses have been urged to ensure that staff digging graves use ground protection boards to reduce the damage caused to grass beside burial sites from heavy-tracked vehicles.

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The plea came as part of an open question posed by East Berwickshire councillor James Anderson at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council (SBC) on Thursday, September 28.

He said: “Why have the crawler boards for the tracked vehicles not been used as appropriate, and does SBC not recognise the trauma caused to my constituents by heavy-tracked vehicles defacing the graves of their loved ones?

“Will a formal apology be given to those families who have repeatedly suffered this upset?”

In response, Councillor John Greenwell, SBC’s executive member for Estate Management and Planning, said: “Every endeavour is made to try and minimise ground damage when carrying out excavations particularly on ground that is already wet and saturated, including the use of ground protection boards.

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“This is an active cemetery site and as with any excavation work there are always risks of ground disturbance.

“In Eyemouth Cemetery additional mitigating measures were undertaken for more recent interments in this location, such as removing sections of fence to enable direct access with the aim of minimising ground disturbance across the site.

“However, it would appear on this occasion to not have been entirely successful and officers will investigate further. Officers are happy to speak with any relative and apologise for any disturbance caused.”

Councillor Anderson sought a guarantee that the families impacted would not face grave sites being defaced a fourth time.

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“I do take that on board”, Councillor Greenwell responded, adding: “I would urge Councillor Andeson to get in touch with our very dynamic Parks and Green Spaces manager, Carol Cooke, who has been doing a lot of work in communities and possibly a visit to the cemetery could be organised.”