SOME Newport residents have been angered by signs warning memorial benches from local cemeteries may be removed.

Some people with family buried at Christchurch cemetery only learned through social media that signs had been placed on some of the memorial benches.

The message on the benches said: "Please contact the cemetery office within 30 days. 01633 414915"

Facebook users claimed the benches "all have to be removed" with others saying it is a "money maker". Some questioned when the 30 days began, while others claimed they were told they would have to pay more than a thousand pounds to keep their memorial benches.

A spokesperson for Newport City Council, said told the Argus that a review of benches was under way across the city's cemeteries.

"The cemeteries team is doing a review of the benches installed in Newport cemeteries, as a result of a vast increase in the number of benches which were causing issues in the cemeteries," they said. 

"Benches that are old or in poor condition can make them unsafe to residents.

"As in some cases there are no records regarding ownership, or contact details can be old, notices have been placed on the benches, urging residents to make contact with the team so that dialogue can be established.

South Wales Argus: St. Woolos CemeterySt. Woolos Cemetery (Image: File)

"This review can result in benches needing to be removed or reallocated so we would ask relatives to please get in touch with the team as soon as possible. Any plaques that may be removed will be retained by the cemetery office where they can be collected by relatives."

The spokesperson added that the review was in line with a council policy first introduced in 2012, which they said was available to relatives and published on the council website.

"Surveying of benches is continuing in both Christchurch and St Woolos cemeteries," they said.

Details of cemetery maintenance and guidance can be found via the Newport City Council website.

The final date to make arrangements for the memorial benches is on June 8 with a superintendent emphasising that they would "always try and accommodate" the needs of bench holders.