Benches and Memorialisation
We have the responsibility for a large number of benches across the town and applications for memorialisation/sponsoring benches can be submitted to us. We also have responsibility for benches previously under the control of Dorset Council on their highways.
We are responsible for maintenance of the highway benches which will have an annual inspection to ensure that they are fit for purpose. If a highway bench becomes unsafe then it will be removed. An application can also be made to have one removed/relocated, this will involve us liaising with Dorset Council before any action can be taken.
The process for either a removal/relocation or request for a new highway bench is as follows:
- A request is made (via the application form above) to us for either a removal/relocation or new bench
- We will seek permission from Dorset Council (Highways) and this may involve us paying them to install on a new site to their specification
- We will consult with the relevant Weymouth Town Council ward members on the proposed removal/relocation
- A removal notice will be placed on the bench for a period of 21 days to enable residents to lodge any objections to the removal of the bench
- The removal/relocation/new bench proposal will be presented to Services Committee for approval
- If the removal/relocation/new bench is approved we will then remove/relocate or install.
You can apply for a memorialised/sponsored bench on a selection of sites – provided there is availability. Please note that there might be limited availability in your preferred area so please bear this in mind on your application.
The bench shall remain our property in the name of the donor. Benches are not transferable between donors. We will hold responsibility for basic maintenance of the bench.
The lease period is 10 years or the life of the bench, whichever comes first. Once the initial 10 year period has expired the donor will be offered an opportunity to extend the sponsorship. If the donor does not extend their sponsorship the bench will become available for sponsorship by someone else.
We are responsible for basic maintenance of the bench only and reserve the right to remove any bench badly damaged as a result of accident, vandalism or the elements and/or if it becomes a danger to the public. We will not be liable to replace any bench that has been removed due to being considered unsafe within the sponsor period. Should the donor wish to replace the bench it will be at their cost at full price.
We will work with local groups and residents where appropriate to restore benches. However we will need to agree and sign off any work to ensure health and safety standards are met.
Benches will likely to be in a public space, so we ask that the following guidelines are observed:
- Any tributes must not hinder the access for public use of the bench i.e. not to be placed on the seat or backrest.
- Glass or fragile vases or tributes are prohibited.
- All tributes will be removed by our staff if they are prohibited as above or when they begin to disintegrate, or after two weeks, (whichever comes first). It is preferred that they are removed by the donor themselves.
- We reserve the right to move to a new location or remove completely any seat and plaque if it is deemed to be in our best interest. Notification of such action will be made to the donor at their last known address.
The plaques are provided by us, on behalf of the donor. Donors are required to submit their wording in advance, as the costs of the plaque is dependent on the wording and will require approval that appropriate wording is being used. Plaques cannot be altered once ordered; alterations will require purchase of a new plaque at the donors expense.
If an applicant wants to sponsor an existing suitable unsponsored bench, then a request to attach a plaque can be made. The initial cost of this will be £250 plus an additional annual fee of £200 for a minimum of ten years, or the lifetime of the bench, whichever comes first. This £2000 fee can be paid together with the initial fee if desired. At the end of the ten years the sponsor will need to submit a new application for the bench to extend the term for another ten years if applicable.
It is the responsibility of the donor to inform us of any changes in their contact details and as such we will not be responsible for any correspondence not being received by the donor if we have not been informed of changes to their details.
All sponsorship of new benches will cost a minimum of £1,800.00 but this is dependent on inflation, materials and installation. The donor will be advised of the costs on receipt of their application.
To apply for a memorialisation, removal, installation of a bench, plus adding a plaque only, please download the above form, complete and email to email@example.com