Authority taken to task over 'deplorable' state of village benches
THE “deplorable” state of benches in a rural parish has been brought to the attention of county officials.
Mickleton Parish Council has compiled a report on 24 benches and seats on its patch.
A spokesman said: “As is quite evident from the photographs, some of these seats and benches have degenerated into quite a deplorable state and are in need of urgent attention. Needless to say the owner of most of them is Durham County Council which has been approached but is far from sympathetic.
“Mickleton Parish Council is formulating a plan to make some improvements, but that of course takes time and money.”
Just four of the benches are described as in “good order”. The report shows a number of the others broken, rotten and covered in moss with flaky paint. Many are overgrown. Some are historic – such as the one erected on the silver jubilee of King George V in 1935. One seat was reported to be vandalised with the memorial plaque stolen.
Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager at Durham County Council, said: “We actively look to replace any aged furniture across the county and were already aware of some of the benches highlighted in the report. We are grateful the other benches have been brought to our attention and will look to review each site individually.
“We have a programme of repairing, replacing and removing furniture that we own that is no longer fit for purpose. These benches will be considered as part of this programme and the appropriate action taken.”