RESIDENTS have hit out at the “disgrace” of the “unkempt” cemetery grounds in the face of budget cuts.

Margo Murphy said she was appalled at the condition of North Dalnottar Cemetery after visiting her parents who are buried there.

West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) reduced grass cutting in the cemeteries to fortnightly as part of their March budget.

A public consultation in January saw a majority back the cuts to save £120,000 a year for the next three years. The SNP/Independent administration hailed the survey as one of their biggest ever.

Although the council moved to reverse some cuts last week, they apply to grass cutting and flowers in residential areas.

Margo said she and friends were unaware of the council budget consultation.

She told the Post: “In 25 years of visiting dad’s grave, I have never seen the cemetery looking so unkempt.

“It’s a disgrace. The grass at points is knee high.

“This council are shocking. They charged me nearly a £1,000 to open the grave to put mum in. So where the hell does our money go?

“I heard of a friend who complained to the council about North Dalnottar and she was told her council tax money doesn’t cover grass cutting.

“So I messaged Forget me Not graveside maintenance to ask them if I could hire them once a month to cut the grass at my parents’ and [husband] Robert’s parents’ grave. Guess what – the tin gods at WDC don’t allow me to hire someone to cut grass. It has to be them to cut the grass.

“When I went over to Robert’s parents’ grave it was not as bad as my own parents, but it still needs maintenance.”

Some residents said parts of the cemetery appeared well cared for while Margo was unimpressed with the state of her parents’ graves.

When challenged on Margo’s points, a spokeswoman for the council said only: “We understand the comfort families take from visiting our cemeteries and are sorry to hear this resident is unhappy.

“The cemetery maintenance programme for 2018/19 sees grass cut fortnightly and treatment undertaken to reduce weeds.”

Clydebank Central Labour Councillor John Mooney said he had received a number of complaints about the cemetery, where his own family plot is.

He said: “The administration’s cuts to cemetery maintenance are disrespectful, distressing and unnecessary.

“At last week’s council meeting, Labour moved that all of the greenspace cuts should be reversed, but the administration rejected this.

“However, since they have been telt by the first minister, they have reversed some of their earlier cuts, but these amount to less than half the funding needed to restore service to the way it was before.”