A new civic programme allowing citizens and organisations to recognise and honour others by purchasing a bench or sponsoring a tree for dedication looks set to be rolled out across Mid & East Antrim.
The introduction of a ‘Memorial Tree and Bench Commemorative Programme’ was agreed at committee level by Mid & East Antrim councillors recently on the proposal of Cr May Beattie, seconded by Cr Gerardine Mulvenna. and will go before the next full meeting of the local authority in March for ratification.
The programme would allow members of the public and organisations to recognise and honour others through a lasting tribute, by purchasing a bench or by sponsoring a tree dedicated to a person or event.
A formal scheme has operated in the Carrickfergus legacy council since 2005 and a similar ad hoc policy has also operated in the Larne area.
Members of Council’s Operational Committee were informed at their latest meeting, last week, that the programme could be used as a form of remembrance of a loved one, celebration of a birth, honouring a retiree, or any other event, which the applicant feels should be commemorated by a tribute.
The proposed cost of a memorial bench and plaque is currently set as £750 while a memorial tree and plaque will carry a price tag of £450.
The report on the initiative also set out proposed terms and conditions including: that applications for the supply and installation of commemorative benches or trees will only be approved after a suitable available site has been identified by Mid & East Antrim Council and that an approved bench or tree will be placed in a council owned park, open space or cemetery and must be unadorned with Council having the right “to use its discretion to refuse any application”.