People are set to pay twice as much in cemetery fees to account for council losses in the sector.

St Albans City and District Council agreed to double residents’ costs at London Road and Hatfield Road Cemeteries in St Albans as well as at Harpenden’s Westfield Road Cemetery.

Those who live outside these areas will now pay three times as much as those who do not, as opposed to double, as was previously the case.

As well as improving the council’s finances – it estimates that, without the changes, 2017/18 would result in a £100,000 deficit in this area – the alterations should result in fewer non-residents being buried in these cemeteries.

According to the council, it is often much cheaper for people to get buried in St Albans and Harpenden than where they actually live.

Cllr Beric Read, responsible for business and community at St Albans City and District Council, said: “This is a comprehensive review of the fee structure at our cemeteries.

“The rises are necessary to meet our commitment to running a cost-neutral service for the benefit of all resides.

“It is clear changes are needed to bring us into step with other local authorities and to meet the future capacity requirements of our own residents.

“Allowing our cemeteries to fill with non-residents due to our low cost is counter-productive to our own needs.”

There are also plans to improve the state of these facilities as a whole, with councillors in conversation with cemetery staff about how to cope with future trends.

These included extending the existing cemeteries and establishing new gardens of rest within them to provide more areas for the burial of ashes. A plan to create a mausoleum was also being looked at.