Memorial headstone safety inspections to begin in Council cemeteries

Perth & Kinross Council will begin its prioritised programme of memorial headstone inspections in Blair Atholl and Jeanfield cemeteries on Monday 6th January 2020. All memorials in the Council's cemeteries will be tested in line with the Scottish Government's guidance on Memorial Safety.

The Council appreciates that any works within cemeteries to make headstones safe may be upsetting to some people, and would wish to apologise in advance if this is the case. All checks will be carried out by qualified professional officers who will ensure these are done with the utmost respect.

Headstone inspections will be fully recorded and any headstones that fail the test and are deemed to be unsafe will be laid flat or fenced off and the lair owner advised of the inspection outcome. Should it not be possible to trace the lair owner, the headstone will be made safe by digging it partially into the ground, to ensure it is not damaged or causes further hazard to users and visitors to the cemetery. Again, any works required will be carried out professionally and respectfully.

We would encourage lair owners to advise our Bereavement Services of any change in lair ownership or change of address, so that they can be easily contacted, should this be required. The condition of any memorial headstone is ultimately the responsibility of the lair owner, and therefore we would recommend that family memorials are regularly inspected by a suitably qualified person to ensure they are in a condition which does not present a public safety hazard.

Prior to any inspections taking place, notices will be displayed in the relevant cemetery and community councils and local Councillors will be contacted. Information will also be made available via the Council's website and on its social media channels four weeks before any headstone works take place.

Following the works in Blair Atholl and Perth, the next cemeteries to be inspected will be in Auchterarder, Blairgowrie, Dunkeld, Dunning, Meigle and Muthill. Details of future locations for checks will be announced in due course.

Anyone with queries about the works, or who would like further information, is asked to call the Council's Customer Service Centre on 01738 475000.