THE son of a Redditch resident of 96 years has been left angered after being told he has to pay extra cremation costs as his mother doesn’t meet the ‘discount’ requirements.

Geoff Blundall has to fork out an extra £100 to have his mother Lillah cremated in her hometown of Redditch as she is classed as a 'non-resident'.

Lillah lived in the same Headless Cross house for 96 years before she was forced into a care home in Stratford-upon-Avon due to dementia, and died aged 99 on October 24.

She wanted to be cremated at Redditch Crematorium with her ashes next to her late husband Jack at Abbey Cemetery.

But the council’s bereavement services informed Mr Blundall his mom wasn’t eligible for the regular fee for residents as she had been a non-resident for three years.

Mr Blundall, 69, said: “It does not seem very fair when she had been living in the borough for 96 years and paying her rates. It makes me feel angry.

“She was in a care home in Stratford because she had dementia and she had no choice but to go there.

“She was married in Redditch at St George’s Church, raised her children there and worked there all her life, making Spitfire machine guns at the BSA factory during the war.

“She wanted to be cremated and have her ashes with her husband. My father is there, his parents are there and his brothers are there, and she wanted to be with him.

“It just doesn’t seem right.”

Councillors passed increased cremation fees in January with a motion carried 14 for and 13 against.

Increased charges include extra fees for ‘non-residents’ and a 20 per cent hike in burial charges for adults.

But councillor Brandon Clayton, who opposed the motion, believes “common sense” should have applied in Lillah’s case.

He said: “I think it is quite shocking that this has happened.

“Just because she lived away for three years as there is not enough places for her in Redditch, it seems the family have been punished for it.

“When you have someone who has lived here for that amount of time it just beggars belief really. It cannot always go by the rule book when we have got cases like this.

“If they had some discretion they would have realised that this person had lived here for this long and used some common sense.

“It is absolute madness and needs to be completely reviewed.

“If 96 years does not class you as a resident of Redditch, what does?”

The council’s Bereavement Services told Mr Blundall: “The fees and charges were set with a discount for current Redditch residents.

“Our normal cremation fee for a service after 11am is £745.00.

“We understand that there will be people on the boundaries of these decisions.

“However, having lived outside the borough for three years would mean that unfortunately on this occasion our normal cremation fee applies.”