PATHS in Darwen Cemetery are so neglected they have become ‘downright dangerous’, a town councillor claims.

Coun John East, who is chairman of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery, said heavy investment was needed from the borough council.

The claim comes just weeks after eight graves were toppled by vandals. They have since been fixed by stonemasons from Brent Stevenson's Memorials, free of charge.

Coun East said: “Pleasington is given priority by the council, who are constantly fighting budget cuts. There just isn’t enough staff to do the amount of work needed.

“The paths in the Western Cemetery are being neglected, though.

“Some of them are a disgrace.

“It’s downright dangerous. But the council will just say there’s no money to fix them.

“But if a litigation came along I’m sure they’d find the money then.”

Sayyed Osman, director of environment, housing and neighbourhoods at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “Given the cuts the council has faced, we simply can’t afford to fully resurface every path at the cemetery.

“We have undertaken essential work to ensure they are made safe, though, and are working closely with the Friends group to source the additional funding required to make full repairs.

“The majority of burials take place at Pleasington and so we have to spend a lot of time there.”