Tree seats are removed

WOODEN seating installed around the trunks of trees in Downend’s high street area has now been removed.

The Voice reported last month that resident Terry Henson, who was one of the volunteers who helped build the seating with Downend In Bloom, had launched a protest after Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council agreed to pay the estimated £12,400 cost of removing the seats and repairing the stonework underneath.

Council workers removed them at the beginning of March.

However parish councillor James Griffiths said the original cost of the project was now expected to be lower.   “The removal has cost £650, and the stone planters were in much better condition than first expected. Further work will be done to repair the stonework.”

Cllr Griffiths said rubbish and rat droppings had been found under the seats after they were removed.

He said: “No-one could get access underneath to collect the rubbish or clean – it was unhygienic and attracted rodents, which shows the justification for removing them.”

Cllr Griffiths said the parish council had voted to create a high street working group, which would meet once the local elections had taken place in May. Its first action would be to review existing seating and work out where new seating should go.