PEOPLE in Radcliffe wonder if the council is having a laugh with a range of new benches that have been installed around Radcliffe town centre.

Members of the public have described the wooden seating as being “poorly positioned” and “a waste of money”, and others said they were “like a bath”.

Stefanie Parker, who lives in Bury, said: “I was walking along Church Street with my son when we saw the bench and both began laughing. I told Lewis to sit down and enjoy the view and he said to make sure I got the nettles in the picture, as part of the scenery. It is a stupid place to put a bench, facing a metal fence. They could have been placed in the gardens further up the road, but I feel it is a pointless thing Bury Council have done.”

Meanwhile, Paul Bradshaw, aged 47 of East Street, said: “Why has Bury Council put this bench facing a brick wall in Church Street? It seems like a huge waste of tax payers’ money. When I first saw it I thought it had fallen off the back of a lorry until I saw the bolts in the ground.”

The outdoor furniture is part of work being directed by the Radcliffe Regeneration Task Group, consisting of community representatives, businesses, councillors, senior council officers, faith leaders and other groups.

The new chairman, Cllr Rhyse Cathcart, said that members were asked to provide feedback on the benches, and that they are part of a wider scheme which is still being rolled out.

Bury Council previously said the funding for the benches has come from a £1million pot to help stimulate Radcliffe’s economy.

Cllr Rhyse Cathcart said: “The Radcliffe Regeneration scheme has been consulted on every step of the way, with community groups and residents invited by the council to engage in the process. We are in the process of seeing the high street regeneration put in place but it has not yet been completed. There is still further work to be carried out on the piazza and in the Church Street West area. A presentation was delivered on what these benches would look like, with attendees being given the opportunity to give feedback. There are plants and flowers still due to be added to the benches. Although there have been some negative comments on social media we have received positive feedback from many of the businesses and traders who are happy to see the investment on the high street.”

Consultants WYG Design presented draft proposals of the designs to the regeneration group in January this year.

The Radcliffe Times has approached WYG for comment.