11:21AM, Thursday 06 September 2012
Changes could be made to the Royal Borough's policy on cemetery charges after a couple were quoted nearly £800 to bury a relative's ashes.
Martin and Louise Turner have been looking to bury the ashes of Louise's mother, Marie Huggett, in a double plot at Braywick Cemetery in Braywick Road, Maidenhead, where Marie's husband, Maurice, had been laid to rest in 2002.
The couple were told they would have to pay about four times the usual burial charge because Marie no longer lived in the Royal Borough when she died and because they wanted to bury the ashes on a Saturday.
War veteran Maurice and Marie had lived in Maidenhead for most of their lives and raised their children in the town, but Marie was forced to move away from her home in Boyn Hill Road in 2007 to be closer to Mr and Mrs Turner, who live in Lane End.
She died in September last year.
The council usually charges a supplementary fee to bury the ashes of non-residents, along with additional charges for burials outside of normal working hours.
After receiving the quote, Mr Turner said the charges were 'absolutely disgusting' and the council was trying to 'make money out of people's misery'.
The Royal Borough's head of leisure services Kevin Mist, who is responsible for cemeteries, has since contacted the couple and pledged to charge them a standard resident's fee and said the policy may be reviewed in future.
He said: "In the past we have had a grace period for someone who stayed in the borough for a long period and then moved away.
"That was generally a year but given the fact that everyone is living longer it is something we are now looking at reviewing."
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