A specially commissioned bench which honours the war dead has become the subject of bitter words aimed at East Ren Council.
The themed bench which cost £945 installed has been sited at Fairweather Hall.
The disquiet arises because of that location and the circumstances behind it. Originally it had been suggested the bench be located at the cenotaph. But, because of red tape, specifically because the war memorial is privately owned by the Royal British Legion (RBL), when the grant funding was approved the ‘asset’ could only be placed somewhere with public access.
Rather than move the bench, which is regularly used as an overspill rubbish bin, two more were bought, but this time for the cenotaph site.
Claims have been made that this is a waste of public funds at a time when the council faces severe financial constraints.
Resident, Anna Thom said: “I have never been so disgusted at the insensitivity of the council to put this bench next to a bin site and underneath a ‘no parking’ sign. Who on earth would want to sit there and reminisce?”
East Ren Council commented: “The memorial bench funded through the local Area Forum was located at Fairweather Hall in recognition that families use the adjacent park and were likely to use it. This is also the meeting point for veterans assembling before the Remembrance service parade, so it was considered an appropriate location. We have now moved the bins to ensure this unfortunate issue does not reoccur. We are delighted to support the RBL via a community grant which has helped provide two more memorial benches in the area.”