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Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
'Unsafe' gravestones laid flat
One of the Newtown graves - picture courtesy of Powys County Council
One of the 30 graves deemed unsafe by the council in Newtown
Thirty gravestones in a mid Wales cemetery have either been laid flat or fenced off following a council inspection.

The owners of the headstones and memorials in Newtown will be contacted by Powys County Council.

But it admits that a number of the graves are so old that it may prove impossible to trace some relations.

It is unclear, at present, what the authority will do if families cannot be found.

The authority said 111 stones were checked and 81 were found to be safe.

It added that two memorials had been repaired.

The move follows a number of fatalities and serious injuries in municipal cemeteries
Powys County Council

In Carmarthenshire last month, a woman whose family had two gravestones laid flat in a safety move called for resignations over the delay in having them put back in place.

Carmarthenshire Council ordered the work on nearly 400 headstones at Ammanford cemetery because it feared the stones were a potential danger.

A graveyard
More than 100 gravestones were checked by the council

In Powys, the council's board voted to check its 17 cemeteries last year - Newtown is the first.

"The move follows a number of fatalities and serious injuries in municipal cemeteries across the country, caused by falling masonry," said a Powys County Council spokesman.

"There have been no reported cases in Powys though.

"Local authorities are reviewing their policies and procedures for managing memorial safety.

"The authority has adopted this essential policy and procedure on memorial safety, in recognition of the council's duty of care to the safety of staff, contractors and visitors coming into contact with memorials managed by Powys."

'Flat' gravestones to be restored
15 Sep 04  |  South West Wales
Gravestone removal halted
07 Sep 04  |  South West Wales
Graves relatives unhappy at wait
30 Sep 04  |  South West Wales

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