Upset over Aylsham burial fees policy

An Aylsham man who wants to place one brother's ashes in the grave of another buried in the town,

will have to pay double the rate charged to residents after councillors voted to uphold their policy.

Neville Skoyles, whose family have lived in Aylsham for several generations, had written to Aylsham Town Council after learning that he would have to pay extra to inter the ashes of his brother Graeme, who had moved away, with those of a brother buried in the town in 1942.

Aylsham-born Graeme, who died in January, lived in the town for over 53 years but moved to Bournemouth in 1987.

In a letter to council clerk Mo Anderson-Dungar, Mr Skoyles said: 'We are an Aylsham family. My great grandparents, my grandparents, my parents and all my relations are buried here and I felt that I wanted to bring my brother home to join them.

'Surely it cannot be right to charge double. I feel very upset by this as my family has paid its way in this town in many ways for many years'

Council chairman Eileen Springall cautioned fellow members that they must decide the matter as councillors, and not allow their personal feelings to intrude.

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Members heard that the higher charge was not imposed if an ex-resident died within five years of leaving Aylsham. The situation arose quite often but most people did not question the cost, said Mrs Anderson-Dungar.

But Andrew Wilton said he felt very strongly about the issue and was disgusted that Neville Skoyles would be charged double.

Councillors voted by four votes to three in favour of maintaining their policy, with three abstentions. Liz Jones said they had to avoid creating a precedent. Her own family came from Aylsham but if she moved away in retirement and died after the five year margin, she would expect her executors to pay the extra fee.

Under the policy, the interment fee and a cremation tablet would cost Mr Skoyles �394 instead of the �197 residents' fee.

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