A MOURNER has criticised Colchester Council for removing a vending machine from the town’s crematorium.

Brian Stearn, 74, noticed the issue during his wife's funeral at the Colchester Crematorium and Cemetery in Mersea Road.

But he was left unhappy with Colchester Council’s decision to scrap the coffee machine he used on his visits.

Mr Stearn, from Langham, said: “That’s no good is it? You pay your money and don’t get anything in return.

“There’s a tearoom across the road, but I’m on crutches, so it’s a fair way to walk instead.

“I spoke with a couple who came all the way from Newcastle for a funeral, and they weren’t happy they couldn’t get a drink.”

A Colchester Council spokesman said: “As a result of ongoing cost and maintenance issues, and because it was rarely used, it was decided not to replace the hot drinks machine.

“We encourage visitors to use the independently-run Starlight Tea Room, which serves hot and cold refreshments between 9.30am and 2pm, Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 1pm on Fridays.”