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Family demanding apology after Bromley Council ruins woman's final wish
A GRIEVING family is demanding the council apologise after their grandmother’s dying wish of being buried next to her husband was not met.
Marianne Hrustanovic bought the plot next to her husband’s grave in Chislehurst Cemetery when he died 16 years ago.
And the 87-year-old had hoped to have been able to rest in peace with him.
Instead she had to be buried more than 35 miles away at Randalls Park Cemetery in Leatherhead, Surrey, because the costs of burying Mrs Hrustanovic in the borough were too high.
Her grandson Stephan Whelan, 33, says he understands the council needs to dissuade people who live outside the borough wanting to buy spaces in the crowded cemeteries.
But he does not think it is fair for the prices to be quadruple for people who have bought spaces and then have moved out of the borough.
The IT practice manager is in the process of writing a letter of complaint to Bromley Council about the way his family were treated since his grandmother died on March 17.
He said: “My grandmother’s final wish was to be buried next to her husband.
“I understand the rules to try and stop people from wanting to be buried there but she had purchased the plot.
“Everyone was like ‘this is it so like it or lump it’, their line was very firm and wasn’t always delivered in the kindest way and with no understanding.
“The rules are the rules and we understand they are there for a reason but she purchased the grave and for the last sixteen years she had been thinking she would be able to lie next to her husband when she died.
“She would go to the grave several times a year to see him and said this is where I’m going to be buried.
“The fact that she’s not there with him is so upsetting.”
He says he had been told there was a chance Bromley Council would allow them to pay the ‘parishioner’ internment cost of £1, 876 rather than the out-of-borough fee of £7,504.
But despite them being able to prove she had registered at a doctor in Keston while she lived in the borough their request was turned down.
Mr Whelan said: “I want the council to apologise for being complete arses at a really difficult time.
“Seven and a half thousand pounds is priced completely out of proportion.
“At the moment we have a burial plot which is empty and we are not intending to give it back until we get some kind of apology.”
A Bromley Council spokesman said: “We appreciate that this is a very difficult situation for relatives and we do try to accommodate requests where we can.
"The additional costs for non residents, known as non parishioners, are designed to ensure that there are sufficient burial spaces remaining for Bromley residents.
"Technically, the costs for burials are made up of different elements including the cost of the plot and cost of burial and of course, the cost of burial will inevitably increase over time and if there is time gap between purchasing a plot and the actual burial, it would be expected that the costs will have risen significantly.”
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