RESIDENTS may soon be able to celebrate a birth, anniversary, or someone’s life by dedicating a bench to that special person or occasion.
Melksham Town Council has agreed to explore the possibility of introducing a ‘bench donation policy’, which would allow residents and local businesses to adopt an existing bench or purchase a new one to be installed in the town.
The idea has been proposed by cllr Sue Mortimer, who explained at a meeting of the town council’s asset management and amenities committee, that the town needs more street furniture and that this would be a way to help ‘keep costs down’.
She also said that more seating would encourage more residents to use the town’s green spaces; and make it easier for some people with mobility issues to get around on foot, knowing that they have a resting place.
As an example of what the town council’s scheme could look like, cllr Mortimer shared with councillors Hazlemere Parish Council’s ‘donate a bench’ scheme, which asks residents to donate £600 for a new bench, or £120 for a plaque to be added to an existing bench.
At the meeting some councillors questioned if local businesses should pay more than residents to sponsor a bench.
“If it’s a business, they are advertising – which is different to a member of public sponsoring a bench,” said cllr Jacqui Crundell. “The business is getting something out of it.”
At the meeting, councillors unanimously agreed to task council staff to investigate a policy and a pricing structure for the proposed bench donation scheme.