A GRIEVING daughter was told to 'bring her own gardening tools' to tidy her parents' graves after complaining to a council worker about state of the cemetery where she is buried.

Janet Dick has slammed the 'disgraceful' state of Millport Cemetery and told the News how she was left stunned by the arrogant staff member after they suggested she carry out her own tidy up.

Her parents Elisabethe and John are both laid to rest there after passing away in 1988 and 2001.

She says the cemetery used to be well maintained and in excellent condition, but claims standards have been allowed to slip.

Distressed at the state of the cemetery, Janet took her complaint to a senior officer in the Garrison. She said: "He was sympathetic but could offer no better solution than suggesting that I take gardening tools with me on my next visis to the cemetery.

"I shouldn't need to take responsibility for the maintenance around my parents' graves. There are people employed to do this.

"Even if I was happy to take this under my own management, this does not help when the surrounding areas are a complete eyesore and in disarray."

Janet told the News that she was shocked by the state of the cemetery on her latest visit.

She said: "It used to be one of the best maintained cemeteries in Ayrshire

The work that was carried out at that time reflected pride and respect for those who died and those who grieved. The cemetery provided an environment to enjoy wonderful memories.

"My visits now to Millport Cemetery leave me forlorn and sometimes in tears due to the complete lack of any feeling by those who are responsible for its maintenance.

"The paths are filled with weeds the size of dinner plates.

"I maintain a stock of flower vases as they are so frequently broken by those who operate grass cutting equipment.

"The grass is cut so closely in places that it is dead and in other places it is barely touched.

"Flowerbeds are barren and neglected."

Janet now lives in Boswell, but still owns a home on the Isle of Cumbrae.

She added: "I contacted the council and they said they look to maintain all of our cemeteries to a high standard and are currently carrying out works in Millport. Does North Ayrshire Council have any form of quality control? There is something wrong if the council considers this be a 'high standard'.

"A cemetery should be a sanctuary, a place where you can be calm and feel close to those who have departed, not a place that creates anguish.

"I would ask North Ayrshire Council to please take action to resolve this situation and not make meaningless statements."

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said works are now planned to improve conditions.

They added: “We are sorry that anyone would feel this way. We endeavour to keep all our cemeteries in good condition and are currently carrying out scheduled maintenance work in Millport which will address issues at the cemetery.”

The council say that they invested £35k in 2018/19 by resurfacing the perimeter road in the cemetery and also improved pathways by installing kerbs at key points.

More added that more investment is planned this financial year to repair the fence and develop a compound to improve the aesthetics of the cemetery.