Following a misleading story aired by Channel 9 last night, Council wishes to reinforce that in regards to current lease holders of memorial benches, there is no intent to remove or replace any benches or plaques that may currently be in dispute.
At the Council meeting held on Tuesday, 10 July 2018, Councillor Bob Patton requested a report be brought back to the next Council meeting regarding the current memorial bench situation with recommendations on how to resolve the issues relating to the leases.
Until Council has reviewed this report and provides direction to adminstration, no bench or plaque will be removed and no new leases will be entered into.
The current situation has arisen due to a historical administrative error where some lease holders have not been sent renewal notices for their seats in a timely manner. In a very small number of cases relating to benches leased prior to November 2000 when Council’s policy changed, this has been for almost an entire 10 year lease period.
Council understands and regrets both the confusion and upset this has caused to the relatives and friends of those the Memorial Benches commemorate.
We are working hard to resolve any issues relating to the leases, which since November 2000 have been for a period of 10 years at a cost of $5,000.
The lease is for both the memorial plaque attached to the bench, and for the upkeep of the bench throughout its lifecycle. To be clear, the lease does not pay for the bench itself.
We are seeking to update the contact details of all our Memorial Bench lease holders, which can also be done by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our Customer Contact Centre on 8229 9999.