Centre to back down over shoppers’ seats?

OUTRAGE at Spring Gardens Shopping Centre’s decision to remove public seating may yet force a change of heart.

Age Concern UK had condemned the centre’s decision and this week shoppers and health and safety professionals have poured scorn on claims the move was for health and safety reasons.

A spokesman for the centre’s management said this week: “The previous seating in the centre failed to comply with regulations on the grounds that it had no arms, no back and was free standing. These points were identified when we undertook an internal health and safety audit.

“We fully appreciate Age Concern’s comments but the seating facilities we supply have to be appropriate and safe for all of our customers. They failed to meet the requirements for disabled customers and we had to take action. We apologise to anyone who is inconvenienced.

“We are actively investigating appropriate seating in the centre.”

David Carlisle said health and safety legislation is used to provide protection from significant health or safety risk. “I fail to see how a few ‘dodgy seats’ would qualify.”

Shoppers have expressed their disgust at the move, and fear they will be forced to go elsewhere as they need to have a rest when out. “This decision is absolute rubbish. It’s bad enough with no decent toilet facilities but now this,” said one.

Another added “I would have thought they should be doing all they can to encourage shoppers.”