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Cemetery grass keeping cut back is 'unacceptable'

A council has been accused of having a lack of respect for the dead, after bringing in a policy which will see grass cut in some cemeteries just three times a year.

Dumfries and Galloway council has to make almost £30 million pounds of savings in three years. It says cutting back on the upkeep of cemeteries with low usage is one of the ways it can save money.

Local people say the policy is thoughtless.

Fiona McIlwraith reports:

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Reducing grass cutting is a 'savings opportunity'

Across Dumfries and Galloway, DGFirst manages and maintains 1,200 areas of ground and open space.

It was agreed in the council's budget in March that grass in rural cemeteries would be cut three times a year.

"Our Council has to make savings of £27m over the next three years. It is absolutely essential that we prioritise where we need to spend money and where we can save money. Reducing or stopping grounds maintenance on little used areas is an obvious example of a savings opportunity."

– Councillor Stephen Thompson, chairman of DGFirst Management Committee

MSP believes D&G council's policy is 'discriminatory'

Rural cemeteries in Dumfries and Galloway will be overgrown and unkempt if current restrictions on grass cutting remain in place according to a senior politician.

The council say they need to make savings of £27 million over three years and need to prioritise.

Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson says he is disgusted that the amount of annual grass cuttings per year was reduced to three in March's budget.