THE cost of dying is going up in Worcester - with more inflation-busting hikes just one year after prices were raised hugely.

Your Worcester News can reveal how the city council wants to increase cremation and burial charges from April - partly as a result of a planned cemetery revamp costing up to £300,000.

This time last year it cost £610 for an adult cremation in Worcester, but it was increased 15 per cent to £700 in April 2014.

From this April the council now intends to raise that to £750, adding another seven per cent to the fee.

It means over a two-year period the rates will have increased 22 per cent.

Critics say the public will find it hard to stomach but the council insists it reflects the plans for a large overhaul of the Tintern Avenue site.

Burial rates are also going up, from £800 to £825.

Mike Layland, chairman of Worcester's cemetery liaison committee, said: "This is one of those areas where you can't win whatever happens - people are bypassing the church and going straight to the crem which is putting a lot of pressure on it.

"Nobody likes the prices going up, but is offering a cheap service always the best?

"I intend to look at the rates in detail but I'm told it's for modernising the facilities.

"We don't want to see the charges going up all the time. But the worst-case scenario is to privatise it, I wouldn't want to see that."

The £750 cremation fee includes use of the chapel for up to 45 minutes, medical fees, an audio system, biodegradable urn and mercury abatement.

Cremation-only rates for people with no family will rise from £390 to £420, and the council says charges for stillborns, babies and children under 18 will remain frozen.

This summer the council intends to spend up to £300,000 on the first crematorium and cemetery revamp in a decade.

It will mean a redesign of the chapel, improved customer reception and waiting facilities and a range of cosmetic improvements to the main building and entrance.

The council also says the increases are part of a gradual phase of price rises set out two years ago as part of a long-term strategy, and that the chapel time used to be 30 minutes compared to today's 45 minutes.

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for cleaner and greener, said: "We're making a big investment of up to £300,000 if necessary, we want to improve the ambience of the crematorium.

"We're making the expenditure to improve it considerably, we don't want to spend a sum of money and not get it right."