The PRA are grateful for feedback from residents, almost all of which has supported the committee view that Dorchester Town Council rather than the Association is now the best vehicle for the provision or maintenance of benches. Our council have the maintenance contracts, insurances and local contacts to fulfil this role more effectively. It was also felt that a single responsible organisation is better than a division depending on where the bench is located. The committee will be seeking a discussion with our Town Council shortly.
Whilst the Association did provide benches in earlier years, more recently they have in any case been provided by the Duchy, such as on the Great Field. As areas of Poundbury are adopted by either Dorchester Town or Dorset Council, care of benches has been taken on by them. There are some Association benches in older areas about which we are seeking clarification.
The committee would like to thank several people who volunteered to help with maintenance. However, given the long term commitment required – which would outlive the availability of any given volunteer – and insurance considerations, it has been decided that such conversations will better be had with our Town Council in future. This does not mean that the Association or successor organisation cannot fundraise for benches, that individuals cannot donate, dedicate or even maintain them. It simply means that this conversation would be with the Town Council. We will keep you posted on developments.