Family upset at double charge for Sidbury ashes burial

PUBLISHED: 17:55 19 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:28 18 June 2010

SHE lived in Sidford and Sidmouth for 30 years, but because Edna Marsh moved away to live closer to her daughters, it will cost them double to bury her ashes at Sidbury cemetery.

SHE lived in Sidford and Sidmouth for 30 years, but because Edna Marsh moved away to live closer to her daughters, it will cost them double to bury her ashes at Sidbury cemetery.

Kent-born Edna moved to Sidford with her farmer husband Fred in 1971 when he retired.

When he died in 1980 he was buried in a plot he bought at Sidbury Cemetery overlooking a farmyard and in 1998 Edna bought a small plot to be near him.

She moved to Tyrell Mead from Harcombe Lane a few years later and was an active member of the Townswomen's Guild, WI and Sid Vale Association, a regular churchgoer and member of the Conservative Party.

"About eight years ago, increasing age and frailty led her reluctantly to move, first to Ringwood (to be near daughter Sally Stone) and then to Sheffield to be near me," said daughter, Ann Granville.

Edna died, aged 95, in March and the daughters naturally wanted carry out her wishes to have her ashes buried near her husband.

They then discovered East Devon District Council's policy to double the normal charge for committing ashes from outside the area.

Ann said: "We are both hacked off because we were given the excuse that so many people want to be laid to rest in that beautiful part of the country they have to charge extra for outsiders.

"We are disappointed. She lived there for 30 years and really loved the area. She kept in regular touch with friends and family in and around Sidmouth.

"Now she is being treated like a total stranger and we find it upsetting."

She advises others not to move away if they want Sidmouth to be their last resting place.

An EDDC spokeswoman said it had a clear policy for charges relating to its burial grounds, which were on its website.

She said: "We charge a fee of £94.00 for the interment of cremated remains for people who, at their time of death, were inhabitants of East Devon.

"For anyone who has lived outside the district for more than 12 months at their time of death, the fee is doubled.

"We have spoken to the relatives of Edna Marsh and have tried to be accommodating to their special requirements for Mrs Marsh's burial."

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