A PONTYPOOL woman says she is 'disgusted' she had to pay an extra £256 in cemetery fees for her disabled brother's ashes to be laid to rest in Panteg Cemetery because he wasn't living in the county at the time.

Gill Willmott, 70, of Talywain, said her brother Warren Willmott, 57, who had Down's syndrome died on June 3 of this year. She said she was told by her funeral director that an extra £256 would have to be paid on top of the £256 she had already paid for her brother's ashes to be placed in the same burial plot as her parents in the cemetery because he was not a resident of Torfaen nor did he die in the county.

Torfaen council's fees for cremated remains to be placed in a burial plot is £256 but fees for burials of those who were not inhabitants of, or did not die in the county within the last twelve months, are doubled. This doubling fee does not apply to people who have moved out of the county through no fault of their own such as due to ill health or disability.

Mrs Willmott said it was 'unfair' she was charged double as her brother was born in Torfaen and had only moved away for specialist care in Newport.

She said: "When the funeral director came to say I had to pay an extra £256 I couldn't believe it. At the time I just paid it as I had just lost my brother and I was grieving - he was a big part of my life.

"I was born in Torfaen, I've lived here all my life - my brother was from Torfaen but as he had Down's syndrome he moved away for specialist care in Newport. It was only 15 minutes away - a couple of miles outside of Torfaen."

She added: "I've been ripped off, it's not right and my worry is that other people haven't queried it."

The mother of two said her brother was a 'beautiful person' and ‘always smiling and full of energy.' He lived at Llanfrechfa Grange from four-years-old until he was a teenager but had been living in Newport for the past 20 years for specialist care.

A Torfaen council spokesman said: “We were not aware of Mr Willmott’s personal circumstances when the burial was booked and apologise for the additional charge. Had we been made aware, the family would not have been required to pay the additional fee.

"We will contact the family so we can discuss the matter in person.”