‘Leave cemetery alone’: Grieving parents in plea to Dundee council

Grieving family members, from left, Gordon Brand, Tricia Hodgdon, Kayleigh Smith, Michaela Scott, Michelle Sangster with Kiara Smith and Jennifer and David Brand at Birkhill Cemetery.

Bereaved parents have pleaded with the city council not to disturb where their children are buried.

Several parents contacted the Tele to voice their concerns after we reported on grieving mum Chantelle Cameron’s issues at Birkhill Cemetery.

The 21-year-old beauty therapist, from Fintry, slammed “insensitive” council workers who removed mementos from her daughter Piper’s grave.

Dundee City Council apologised for moving the items in order to carry out work on an adjacent grave.

However, other parents say they fear their babies’ graves could be next.

The council outlined its proposals to renovate Birkhill last year.

Correspondence sent to parents suggested that personal items should be “temporarily” removed during the works but reassurances were given that graves would not be disturbed.

However, Tricia Hodgdon, who has two young children buried at Birkhill, said she and several others had been told the move would be permanent.

The 37-year-old said: “We’re not happy at all. They’re saying they want all the stuff to be removed from our children’s graves — it’s disgusting.

“We’ve all phoned the council and been told different things.

“It’s quite upsetting. It’s the only place we can connect with our babies — please just leave it as it is.”

Karis Convery, who lost her daughter Amelia three years ago, said she had been left stressed by the situation.

The 26-year-old, from the Ferry, spent £1,100 on a bench dedicated to Amelia and fears it may be moved.

She said: “We just don’t know what’s happening.

“I was so upset after speaking to the council about it that I even thought about moving Amelia out of Birkhill — but I couldn’t bear seeing her coffin again.”

A council spokesman said the local authority was planning to create “dedicated areas” for memorabilia and to renovate pathways.

However, he did not elaborate on whether benches would be affected.

He added: “We wrote to families late last year explaining that the council is planning environmental improvements to the baby area.

“We are keen to talk to families to discuss any concerns they may have and explain clearly how we want to closely work with them during this improvement project.”