From February 2012 only benches installed by the Council will be allowed at council maintained cemeteries - The Lawn and Hyde Cemetery. The benches are owned by the Council and licenses are issued for a set period.
Memorial bench licenses can be purchased for a period of 10 years. The fee payable includes a bench, to be installed in an agreed location, and a single plaque to be created and installed with an agreed inscription. If you require additional plaques there is an additional cost.
All efforts will be made to allocate benches as close as possible to the requested position; however the available locations will be distributed on a first come first served basis.
The benches will be installed by the council on behalf of the license holder. Under no circumstances should anyone else install a bench. If it is found that a bench has been installed by anyone other than the council, the bench will be removed without notice and without guarantee of safe return.
Renewal of License
After any 10 year period expires, the licence holder can renew with the current renewal fee applying. Alternatively, if they decline to renew, the plaque will be removed from the bench and returned to the license holder. The bench will then be made available for further dedications.
Should a bench or plinth become damaged or unsafe in any way the council will arrange for repair or replacement as appropriate. In these circumstances we will take reasonable action to notify the license holder. License holders should therefore ensure that the Council has up-to-date contact details at all times.
No articles are allowed to be placed or planted on or around any of the benches. If, for example potted plants, vases, or other decorations, are found they will be removed without notice and possibly at the expense of the person responsible, depending on work needed to remove them.
It should be noted and accepted that any person may sit on any bench in the cemetery.
REGULATIONS FOR EXISTING MEMORIAL BENCHES
Where permission for a bench has previously been granted, the bench will be allowed to remain in position for a period 10 years from the authorisation date. After the initial 10 year period has expired; and should the bench owner wish to continue with the memorial, the license will need to be renewed, with the current renewal fee applying. At this time all benches will have to be replaced by ones provided and installed by the council, with new memorial plaques also being produced.
If, after the initial 10 years, the bench owner no longer wishes to continue with the memorial, they would be given a period of 30 days to remove the bench and plinth from site and undertake remedial grounds works to return the area to grass. If this work is not completed within the given timescale the council will arrange for this work to be completed without notice and without guarantee of safe return of the bench. This may also result in the associated costs being recharged to the bench owner.
Replacement due to disrepair
During the initial 10 year period, should an existing bench or plinth fall into disrepair or become unsafe, it would be the bench owner's responsibility to undertake remedial works. If this is noticed by cemetery staff, all efforts will be made to notify the bench owner as soon as possible. If the disrepair is a health and safety issue, the bench will be removed immediately and kept in storage for 30 days should the family wish to collect it.
If, after a period of 30 days, no suitable remedial action has been taken, the council reserves the right to remove the bench, which may result in the associated costs being recharged to the bench owner. If the condition of the bench or plinth means that it is not possible to repair the damage, the owner would be given the opportunity to purchase a new bench under our bench policy, or to remove the bench and plinth entirely and to return the area to grass.