Money set aside to improve Bromyard cemetery is being drained away by repeated thefts.

The brass tap at the cemetery has been stolen seven times in two months, the latest incident having taken place on Friday.

The joint burial committee, in charge of maintaining of the site, has had to shell out £55 a time to replace the tap.

Committee member Gill Churchill said: "It's very infuriating. It's draining the money we have for the maintenance of the cemetery.

"We need to put new paths down, but if we don't have the resources, we can't."

Coun Churchill said the latest theft was particularly annoying, as the committee thought the tap had finally been made secure.

She said; "We screwed it and soldered it. Whoever took it this time needed a spanner to remove it, they were there for a while."

Coun Churchill said the thefts seemed pointless, as the tap was not valuable. However, its theft could make life difficult for people wanting to water flowers on the graves of loved ones.

She said: "The tap is near the newest graves, so people coming to visit them and water flowers will be the ones who suffer."

Coun Churchill said each theft had been reported to the police but, because the area was isolated, it was difficult to keep an eye on things.

"We don't know what to do now, apart from taking the tap away completely or locking the gates of the cemetery at night. Unfortunately, that will mean people visiting graves will suffer," she said.

"Another option is putting the precept up, but that's not something we want to do either."

Anyone with information about the thefts should contact the police on 08457 444888.