A BURTON mourner said he was left disgusted after workers repairing Bretby Crematorium’s car park shouted at each other during a funeral.
Work has already started on revamping the car park at the Geary Lane site after it was controversially bought by Midland Co-operative Society in April for £7.6million.
The deal also includes a financial investment of £250,000 by the Co-op to improve the facilities available at the crematorium.
Improvements to the car park are first on the list — which has brought anger to those paying their last respects.
The mourner, who does not want to be named, said he was shocked that the Coop had been working on the car parking during funeral times and added that those employed to repair the area were shouting at each other over the machinery.
He said: “I was attending a funeral last Tuesday (August 23) and was standing outside the entrance to the crematorium at 10.30am with about a dozen other people and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“It was just disgraceful. The workers were shouting at each other over the machines and using foul language, right in front of the mourners with absolutely no thought for them. The people I was standing with were just as disgusted as me.
“People are paying their last respects and saying their last goodbyes so they shouldn’t be expected to put up with this behaviour. It is disgraceful that mourners have to witness this.”
The Burton man said he had heard from people attending other funerals at the crematorium that they had witnessed the same problem.
He added: “At first I called the council to complain but was told Midland Co-operative Society has now taken it over. I have been unable to get in touch with them.
“If this is how the Co-operative go about their business, then it is sad. Why don’t they do this work at a time when funerals are not on? It is saying a final goodbye to someone and you do not want to see or hear this kind of behaviour.”
East Staffordshire Borough and South Derbyshire District Council owned the crematorium for 26 years before handing the reigns to the Co-op. The decision was greeted with a mixed reaction from the public and led to a protest and a petition against the plans which attracted more than 3,000 signatures.
A spokesperson for Midlands Co-operative Society, said: “We can confirm that we have been carrying out essential repairs to the car park at Bretby Crematorium as part of our commitment to further enhance the facilities. Due to the nature of the repairs, the work on the car park took place during the day, week commencing August 22.
“The contractors were aware of the sensitivities of the location and worked closely with the staff at Bretby.
“These works formpart of a larger refurbishment programme to enhance the facilities at the crematorium.”