Issues surrounding access to Ballymoney Cemetery have been raised once again at Ballymoney Borough Council.
Recently, members of the public, particularly those with disabilities and the elderly, complained about not being able to gain access, at times, to the graves because bollards had been erected and permits were needed.
However at a recent Leisure and Amenities Committee meeting, members heard that ‘new access arrangements were in place’.
They also agreed that ‘no deposit be levied against the supply of a fob’.
Members heard: ‘It is recommended that Council note that the new access arrangements to the cemetery for less able bodied are now in place.
‘The Head of Amenities responded to members questions. It was the members view that no deposit ought to be levied against the supply of a fob and that any money taken be refunded.
As previously it was noted that the cemetery was not designed to accommodate vehicles generally and that unrestricted vehicular movement within the cemetery had caused significant damage to grassed areas, headstones and grave surrounds.’
It was proposed by Cllr John Finlay, seconded by Cllr Roma McAfee, that no deposit be taken for issuing a fob, but any replacement would be at a cost of £10 and that any monies taken to date be refunded and a site meeting for members be arranged to view the cemetery.
Speaking at a Full Council meeting, Cllr Tom McKeown thanked Council for ‘the prompt response in cutting the grass at the cemetery recently’.
Cllr Alan McLean questioned Council about the installation of grave surrounds and grass cutting.
He explained: “A local couple, recently bereaved, have applied for a new section within the graveyard.
“They want to put up a headstone but have been told ‘no surround’ due to access and grass cutting etc. There seems to be other surrounds in that area. What is Council position on the issue?’
In response Cllr John Finlay suggested that the issue be put onto the next committee meeting adding: “It can be discussed further.”
Cllr McKeown agreed stating: “It’s a big issue and causes a lot of distress to bereaved families.
“The surrounds causes problems for the digger and skids have to be put down over graves which causes further concern.
“There needs to be a solution and I’m glad this has been put on the agenda for discussion.”