A row has erupted over a controversial bid to change a town's burial policy.

Members exchanged verbal blows at a Wymondham Town Council meeting earlier this week after Labour councillors proposed extending eligibility for a 'resident discount' - a scheme which gives grieving families a burial fee reduction of up to £660.

Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury: Wymondham CemeteryWymondham Cemetery (Image: Newsquest)

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The motion would see the initiative opened up to include those who have either lived in Wymondham for at least four years and relocated due to independent living needs, or those who have resided in the town for more than 10 years at any point in their life. 

"We don't want to add to the family's distress," said Cllr Michael Rosen, who is in favour of the changes.

"Some relatives may be moved to specialist care outside of Wymondham and that's where they die. 

Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury: Cllr Michael RosenCllr Michael Rosen (Image: Norwich Labour)

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"But that doesn't mean the family should have to pay more than £800 to bury them.

"They are still a part of the town's community and historical connections are important."

Councillors were told of a family who were forced to pay full price to bury a relative who had lived in Wymondham for most of their life.

Despite paying for her to be buried alongside her husband in advance, the woman did not qualify for the discount because she had lived in a care home for five years prior to her death.

"I understand that people can't always get into a Wymondham care home," said Cllr John Frosdick.

"But I struggle with a 10-year eligibility proposal.

"You could be 10 when you move away.

Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury: Cllr Suzanne Nuri-Nixon described the proposals as unworkable and ill-advisedCllr Suzanne Nuri-Nixon described the proposals as unworkable and ill-advised (Image: Suzanne Nuri-Nixon)

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"This could lead to a bidding war because you'll have the right to be buried here and other places."

Cllr Suzanne Nuri-Nixon also voiced her concerns about the amendments.

"I find them unworkable and ill-advised," she said.

"I accept that the last thing grieving relatives want is to be caught up in unnecessary bureaucracy. 

"But asking relatives to provide 10 years' worth of bills is incredibly insensitive and would add a huge amount of work for our office staff."

It is understood the proposals will now be refined before being discussed further at the next full town council meeting.