Some Banbridge district residents could face a steep rise in burial costs after they leave the area after the amalgamation of the councils next year.
When Banbridge District Council merges with Armagh and Craigavon, some Banbridge residents will be outside the district and will suddenly find themselves in another council areas such as Newry, Mourne and Down.
Whilst many may not be too concerned about the change, others could find themselves facing costly expenses as it has been revealed that anyone who was in Banbridge but will now be outside it will have to pay double for the cost of a burial plot and interment.
Banbridge Councillor David Herron said he was concerned that residents in areas such as Slieve Croob, who have been paying rates in Banbridge for their whole lives, will now face steep charges if they want to be buried in the District.
A spokesperson for Banbridge District Council confirmed that currently it costs residents in Banbridge £230 to purchase a grave plot and £380 for the interment.
However, non-residents are charged £460 for the plot and £760 for the interment.
The spokesperson further confirmed that a resident could buy a plot now but if they did not live in the District when they died, the higher charge for interment would be incurred.
“From April 1 next year any former Banbridge resident who now lives outside the council area due to boundary changes, will be charged the higher rate,” he said.
Councillor Herron said it was unfair for residents to face higher charges if they had been paying rates in Banbridge for many years.
“Non-residents will be hurt and it could be very expensive for them,” he said.
“Banbridge Council has legislation that if you live outside the district you will be paying more for a grave.
“We need clarification on how this will impact on people who are moved out of Banbridge District by the boundary changes.
“It is no good waiting until after the change and someone dies to sort it out, we need to know now what will happen and how it will work.” Councillor Herron has raised the matter with the council