Published: 00:00, 11 April 2014
| Updated: 16:45, 11 April 2014
New benches in Dover’s town centre have been designed to stop day-time drinkers from loitering on them, says former town mayor Sue Jones.
The benches, in Biggin Street, are shaped like waves and do not have any backs or arms for shoppers to lean on.
The benches are made up of seven metal bars and it is said to have been designed like that to stop people from sitting on them for too long.
They are part of a £50,000 Dover Town Council scheme to try improve the appearance of the town. The new seats are blue to continue a bluebird theme across the town.
Cllr Jones said: “We have a daytime drinking problem in Dover and if some of them were given the chance they would lie on them all day.”
Cllr Jones said she has had nothing but positive feedback about the new benches since they were installed.
She said: “The people I have spoken to have been positive about the benches. They were designed for people who are out shopping to put their bags down and take a rest. They’re not for those for those who want to loiter.”
The Labour councillor also confirmed that the people of the town chose the design following a number of surveys.
Cllr Jones said comments made on other newspapers’ websites, where it was reported she claimed the benches had been designed not to be too comfortable, were taken out of context.
She said: “Once you take three or four words out of a statement it can change its context.”
But Cllr Sue Nicholas, chairman of Dover District Council, is not a fan of the new benches.
She said: “They are absolutely diabolical. There has been no consultation whatsoever and the people are powerless.
“People are saying they’re so uncomfortable and they don’t look right.”
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