A FAMILY have voiced their 'disgust' after being charged five times the normal amount for their dad's headstone to be placed in a town cemetery despite him living in the area for most of his life.

Evesham Town Council says its policy is to charge five times the fees for non-residents or people who have not lived in Evesham for five years, primarily because there is limited space and they want to prioritise those who live in the town.

But Andrew Pickering, whose father Bernard lived in Bengeworth for the first 40 years of his life before moving away to work, called the charge "robbery."

He said: "It's ridiculous. He grew up here.

"We feel very angry at the fees we are being charged as it makes it more difficult for us to pay for the stone and the erection of it.

"We feel that dad's links to his home town Evesham have been cast aside as he didn't spend his last few years here. We would like this five times figures revised as it's crippling us and other families."

Bernard Pickering died on June 7 2018. He was one of seven siblings to be born in Evesham and they all helped his father on his market gardening land. Bernard went to Evesham High School, where he also helped to build the school in between lessons carrying bricks and digging out footings. He then went on to work for Foster's menswear in Evesham for 20 years of his 40 years service.

Bernard then went on to work in Stroud and Gloucester until he retired. Due to ill health he moved closer to his daughters in Gloucester so they could help care for him before his death.

The normal charge for the placement of a headstone of an Evesham parishioner in Waterside Cemetery is £280. Mr Pickering and his family are being charged £1,400.

A person has to have lived in the Evesham area for the last five years of their life to be classed as a parishioner.

The Pickerings also had to pay three times the rate for the plot at the cemetery.