Brother's protest over burial costs

A man who suffers from poor health held a dawn-to-dusk vigil at a graveyard to protest about the cost of burying his brother's ashes.

Roderick Campbell (57), from Bishopbriggs, stayed in Bearsden’s New Kilpatrick Cemetery, where his brother’s ashes are buried, for 13 hours to show his strength of feeling about the cost of laying him to rest.

East Dunbartonshire Council charged a total of £1,791 to inter the ashes.

The high charge was partially because his brother was living outside East Dunbartonshire before he died.

Mr Campbell, who suffers from a number of serious medical conditions, says he’s disgusted that East Dunbartonshire Council’s burial charges are so much higher than other authorities.

He says his family has graves in other areas where his brother’s ashes could have been interred, which would all have been much cheaper.

These include Highland Council (£186), Glasgow City Council (£296) and East Renfrewshire Council (£396).

He’s refusing to pay the full amount and intends to pay £667 (the average cost of these three councils plus East Dunbartonshire).

Mr Campbell says he’d always intended to have his ashes laid to rest with his parents and family in New Kilpatrick Cemetery but now he’s looking for another place for himself and his wife because the cost is too high.

He said: “Visits to the family grave will be painful from now on knowing that we will not be together in the end.”

Grace Irvine, director of East Dunbartonshire Council’s neighbourhood services, said: “Burial charges are a sensitive issue and the council endeavours to work with anyone struggling to pay these charges in difficult times.

“In this particular instance, we are liaising with Mr Campbell as regards payment of the charges - which were agreed prior to the internment taking place. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”