CREMATION and burial fees are set to rise in Stafford Borough next year.
Labour group leader Jack Kemp said the price hikes were “one of the most hurtful and distasteful increases of charges to the public.”
The Conservative-led council’s cabinet member for resources Ken Williamson had earlier announced that borough council tax was set to be frozen for the fifth year running.
But the Tories were accused of increasing levies elsewhere for services people were unable to avoid using.
For those using bereavement services cremation fees are going up by 8.1 per cent for adults, from £495 to £535. There will remain no charge for under 16s or stillborn children however.
For those opting for burials the internment fee will rise by 7.9 per cent from £305 to £329 and exclusive right of burial (for four caskets) at Tixall Road, Eccleshall Road and Stone cemeteries will go up 8.1 per cent from £695 to £751.
Councillor Finlay said costs to administer services had gone up, particularly energy prices. He added that around 60 per cent of people using the cremation service came from outside the borough to do so, and it was an award-winning service.