CRUMBLING and dangerous memorials at graves in Stafford and Stone will be repaired by a new council recruit – and the owners will not have to pay a penny.
Stafford Borough Council will employ a memorial mason for a year to do work at all three of its cemeteries – Tixall Road, Eccleshall Road and Stone.
Tests will be carried out to check which ones are most at risk of falling over or causing damage or injury.
Grave owners have responsibility for the upkeep of graves but the council will still repair those most in need, especially if they are thought to have historical significance or will preserve the character or ambience of the cemetery.
Malcolm Vickers, deputy chief executive for the borough council, said there were also some graves which were so old the owners were no longer around.
It is expected that the mason will complete around four repairs a day, which equates to 1,000 a year.
The authority has amassed a reserve of £98,600 towards the scheme.
Memorials found to be unstable will be secured upright with support, laid flat within the grave space, re-fixed or moved to a secure area on site.
The authority will also do a survey of closed churchyards to see what systems need to be put into place.