Community question headstone safety

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In light of the tragic events in a Glasgow cemetery last week, when a young boy was killed by a falling headstone, the members of Whithorn Community Council were keen to know the local authority’s policy over the condition of gravestones in local cemeteries.

Discussion at the meeting assumed that the headstone was the property of the family and the descendants of the deceased until no family members could be traced at which point Dumfries and Galloway Council got involved.

A spokesperson for Dumfries and Galloway Council confirmed their policy, saying: “Headstones are bought by family to place at the top of the lair where individuals are buried. The headstone is personal property of the families concerned and as such they have to make sure that the headstone is maintained and kept safe.

“If any individual has any concerns about the safety of their headstone, they can ask a qualified stone mason for advice. Any headstones that have been reported to the Council as unsafe or that the Council discover are unsafe, we will take steps to make it safe again. We attempt to contact the person responsible for the lair before doing so.”