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OIC establish kirkyard working group

OIC has established a working group to help deal with remedial work in Orkney’s kirkyards.

Orkney Islands Council has established a working group to help repair the damage made by its controversial graveyard safety project.

Distraught families and dismayed public officials have spoken out in recent weeks, after a scheme to improve the safety of cemeteries triggered reports that headstones were being laid flat without relatives being notified.

This latest announcement follows a public apology by the council for the upset caused. It was also confirmed, last Friday, that remedial work will be undertaken at local kirkyards, planning is underway on how this will be carried out.

The new working group — comprised of elected members and senior officials — was set up today, Monday, February 18 to take this forward.

In a statement released this afternoon, an OIC spokesman said: “Some initial preparatory work will be undertaken over the next few weeks, to fill in and level off cavities in the ground from where headstones were laid down. The restoration work will follow and information about this will be published soon.

“The information will include details of how people can contact the council if they have concerns about family headstones.

“It will also advise on how the results of future headstone inspections will be publicised in ways which give relatives time to consider any work they might wish to have carried out.

“If people have concerns or questions, please wait if possible until this information is published before getting in touch with us. If you have already been in touch, the Council will contact you shortly.”