A tiny ‘half bench’ was installed by a council and locals have already branded it a ‘joke’.
More than 100 people in Basingstoke, Hampshire, have previously signed a petition calling on Old Basing & Lychpit council to set up a bank outside of Tesco.
People wanted “a place of rest for those who may have difficulty walking the route from their homes to the shops and back”.
The council agreed, but it certainly wasn’t what the community had in mind, as some called it a “joke”.
The bench is ridiculously small and only fits one person.
Councilwoman Elaine Still said they decided on the size to deter rough sleepers and deter vandalism.
She told the Basingstoke Gazette: “The reason I wouldn’t agree to a full bench is that we can’t afford to have rough sleepers back.”
She added the bench was approved as a “compromise with the understanding that the seat is bolted to the floor and is virtually vandal proof due to previous instances of vandalism in that area”.
Martin Peer, 76, who lives in the area, said: “It’s insane to only have one seat. I can understand the argument if you have a bigger seat it seems to encourage people to sleep on it.
“I would think people wouldn’t want this.
“But we should make arrangements to allow people to sleep in appropriate places rather than being forced to sleep on a bench.”
The county council said it gave permission to the local council to select, purchase and arrange the seat of its choice.
Metro.co.uk has reached out to local council for comment.
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/12/basingstoke-new-bench-branded-a-joke-without-any-common-sense-18422216/ Basingstoke: New bank branded a 'joke without common sense'