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Community / Memorial inspections to take place in coming months

SAFETY assessments of memorials will be carried out at all of Shetland’s cemeteries and kirkyards under instruction of the Scottish Government after a fatal accident involving a child at a Glasgow graveyard in 2015.

The assessments will be carried out in the coming months and any memorial that fails the check will have a green notice placed next to it.

If it is judged to pose a danger to the public, it will be re-fixed, staked and tied, or braced with wooden supports and cordoned off.

Shetland Islands Council is reminding people that responsibility for the maintenance of memorials lies with the lair holder or their representatives.

If someone sees a green safety notice next to their memorial, they should contact a stonemason who has been approved by the council to complete repairs.

Details can be found online, while a memorial permit application form will need to be completed.

Burial services can be contacted on 01595 744853 or 744898, or via email at burials@shetland.gov.uk.

Vice chairman of the council’s environment and transport committee Robbie McGregor said:  “We need to be sure that our kirkyards are safe and secure places for families and individuals to visit, so this is extremely important work.

“The council is responsible for 70 burial grounds.  It is important that any repair work is carried out to a safe industry standard, so it must be completed by a stonemason who has been approved to do so.

“Finally, I’d like to reassure anyone who may find it difficult to fund any repairs that the burial service will do what they can to help – just get in touch.”