Families are being told they must pay £70 if they want to be present for the scattering of loved ones’ ashes at Wakefield Crematorium.
The family of the late Peter Robert Dale were upset to learn that Wakefield Council had started charging the fee.
After he died three years ago aged 73, Mr Dale’s family paid thousands of pounds for a funeral service.
They paid hundreds more for a book of remembrance entry and bronze plaque at the crematorium in Crigglestone.
As the third anniversary of Mr Dale’s death in April was approaching, his wife Betty, 76, decided she might be ready to scatter his ashes.
But the family were told they must either pay £70 - or hand the ashes over to crematorium staff to scatter in private for free “when they got the chance”, son Jason Dale, 41, said.
Mr Dale, of Sandal, said: “It should be the bereaved’s God given right to be there at the last goodbye free of charge, or at most with the cost included as part of the cremation fee like it used to be. It is unfair to those on limited incomes, frankly it is downright disrespectful.”
Families do not have to pay if they want to take loved ones’ ashes elsewhere to scatter in private. Wakefield Council confirmed a £70 charge was introduced at the Standbridge Lane crematorium last year.
Glynn Humphries, the council’s service director for environment and streetscene, said: “We do charge a fee if a family choose to be present at the scattering of ashes of a loved one.
“This is because an appointment needs to be made and we have to make sure that a member of staff is available.
“However, families will not need to pay this fee if they wish to take the ashes away or if they would like us to scatter the ashes on their behalf, without them being present.”