Street drinkers force removal of Hove WWI hero’s memorial bench

Posted On 02 May 2014 at 2:36 pm
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By Tim Ridgway
Latest TV

A bench installed to remember a hero of the Great War is to be removed after becoming a base for street drinkers.

benchResidents in the Westbourne Gardens area of Hove have complained that the seat at the top of the street is being regularly used by large groups.

With complaints of loud noise and public urination, a neighbourhood police officer was called to deal with the increasingly intolerable situation.

It was reported the PCSO found six people drinking and being rowdy nearby while one man had passed out on the bench before urinating himself.

After police spoke to local Brighton and Hove city councillors Graham Cox and Denise Cobb, it has been agreed the bench will now be moved.

Cllr Cox, writing in his regular newsletter, said: “We have spoken with many residents and there is a consensus emerging that reluctantly it would probably be best to remove the bench.

“We have also been in contact with the lady who kindly donated the bench in memory of her late father – a World War One hero who lived for many years in Westbourne Gardens.

“She was upset to hear what has been happening, but also is understandably reluctant to see the bench go.

“The best compromise may be to move the bench to a much more suitable location – perhaps outside Aldrington Hospital. This is further away from the area where street drinkers tend to congregate.”

Fellow Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett would rather see a different approach.

Councillor Barnett said: “It’s disgusting that they’re thinking about removing that seat because drinkers are using.

“They should move the drunks not the seat. The police should move them on.

“Old people use it on their way home from doing their shopping. It’s a rest for them.

“If they move that bench, the council should replace it. Why should the residents be penalised because of a few?”

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    That’s right, punish, disenfranchise, further marginalise and downgrade street seating for those in need of a moment on a bench – and most are elderly, disabled, tired and carrying heavy shopping.

    Benches are enablers that allow people to walk further, sometime AT ALL, to get out and sit in sunshine if they have no garden or sunny balcony.If

    It could be moved across Portland Road dead opposite where the pavement is exceptionally wide and where people using the shops might welcome having it.

    What’s the betting those the cllrs spoke to were either young and healthy or judging the bench on its appearance? And how many were they? The Cllrs could get it painted tomorrow if they were minded to do so. If not by BHCC, then by the PayBack Teams working Community punishments.

    Cllr Cox has had it in for that bench for sometime now, has written his scathing contempt for it in a blog too, speaking of street drinkers. So insensitively unhelpful

    The street drinkers will just find another bench and another uncaring councillor will get that one removed. The bench in Westbourne Gardens is not always full of drinkers nor historically so either. This is just one moment in time.

    Instead of punishing those in need of benches, work on getting rid of the street drinkers!

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    That’s right, punish, disenfranchise, further marginalise and downgrade street seating for those in need of a moment on a bench – and most are elderly, disabled, tired and carrying heavy shopping.

    Benches are enablers that allow people to walk further, sometime AT ALL, to get out and sit in sunshine if they have no garden or sunny balcony.If

    It could be moved across Portland Road dead opposite where the pavement is exceptionally wide and where people using the shops might welcome having it.

    What’s the betting those the cllrs spoke to were either young and healthy or judging the bench on its appearance? And how many were they? The Cllrs could get it painted tomorrow if they were minded to do so. If not by BHCC, then by the PayBack Teams working Community punishments.

    Cllr Cox has had it in for that bench for sometime now, has written his scathing contempt for it in a blog too, speaking of street drinkers. So insensitively unhelpful

    The street drinkers will just find another bench and another uncaring councillor will get that one removed. The bench in Westbourne Gardens is not always full of drinkers nor historically so either. This is just one moment in time.

    Instead of punishing those in need of benches, work on getting rid of the street drinkers!

  3. ian killmister Reply

    In Europe , it is common to congregate outside and chat and hang around and be seen .

    Us POOR POOR English . Any group of over 3 people standing still for more than 10 seconds should be viewed with distrust . The thought of GROWN ADULTS having a drink in public ( unless on land owned by a pub OR seated on a pavement with string around it ), PANIC !

    AND WORSE OF ALL , IDIOT COUNCILLORS . Why not punish the police AND the bench !!!

    Bu the way there are NO longer PAY BACK teams . Apparently . they have paid it all back ( seriously ) AND BHCC cant afford to fund it any more . GREENS OUT on the 22 MAY . VOTE for ANYONE except the GREENS . luv , as always , lemme

  4. ian killmister Reply

    In Europe , it is common to congregate outside and chat and hang around and be seen .

    Us POOR POOR English . Any group of over 3 people standing still for more than 10 seconds should be viewed with distrust . The thought of GROWN ADULTS having a drink in public ( unless on land owned by a pub OR seated on a pavement with string around it ), PANIC !

    AND WORSE OF ALL , IDIOT COUNCILLORS . Why not punish the police AND the bench !!!

    Bu the way there are NO longer PAY BACK teams . Apparently . they have paid it all back ( seriously ) AND BHCC cant afford to fund it any more . GREENS OUT on the 22 MAY . VOTE for ANYONE except the GREENS . luv , as always , lemme

  5. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Ian, Community Service punishments have not ended and those people ARE the pay-back teams. BHCC uses them with gusto to save money. Uses them instead of having to pay people whose jobs it is to maintain and repair. All they have to cough up are the materials. But actually, who DOES fund running the scheme from the police/court perspective…Hmmmm They have supervisors who are not paid by the council….

  6. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Ian, Community Service punishments have not ended and those people ARE the pay-back teams. BHCC uses them with gusto to save money. Uses them instead of having to pay people whose jobs it is to maintain and repair. All they have to cough up are the materials. But actually, who DOES fund running the scheme from the police/court perspective…Hmmmm They have supervisors who are not paid by the council….

  7. ian killmister Reply

    True , however THEY SAY that due to cuts , BHCC cannot get any supervisors or minibuses for this scheme and ran out of cash last summer !!!!

    It never ceases to amaze me the lack of transparency and the stories that Council Officials come up with .

    I was told the above by a committe chairman 3 weeks ago !!

    I dont dispute your words , dear Valerie . . .

    MAYBE , they found some money in this years budget and it has started again !!!!

    WHO really KNOWS ?

    I wonder if 5homes knows ? I wonder if the judges and magistrates themselves know ? We are supposing and alleging and remembering how things USED to be .
    In fact I am not even sure I exist now 🙁

    Luv and respect , lemme

  8. ian killmister Reply

    True , however THEY SAY that due to cuts , BHCC cannot get any supervisors or minibuses for this scheme and ran out of cash last summer !!!!

    It never ceases to amaze me the lack of transparency and the stories that Council Officials come up with .

    I was told the above by a committe chairman 3 weeks ago !!

    I dont dispute your words , dear Valerie . . .

    MAYBE , they found some money in this years budget and it has started again !!!!

    WHO really KNOWS ?

    I wonder if 5homes knows ? I wonder if the judges and magistrates themselves know ? We are supposing and alleging and remembering how things USED to be .
    In fact I am not even sure I exist now 🙁

    Luv and respect , lemme

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