Remove "anti homelessness bars" from public benches
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A few months ago I noticed two public bench seats in James Street Plaza, Hamilton NSW, which had bars installed half way along the benches. These bars prevent people from lying down on the seats. These bars instantly reminded me of some of the "anti-homelessness" designs and strategies that Councils have implemented elsewhere.
A week later I went back to the same place and saw a homeless man lying on the ground, asleep, in front of the bench seat - obviously not able to lay on the seat.
Having contacted Newcastle City Council Infrastructure Department, they confirmed that the bench seats are the property of NCC but they have no knowledge of who installed the bars.
They, and Local Councillors, have also informed me that over the next 6 months a masterplan for the area is being developed. A consultation process will be undertaken with business, community members and others. This plaza space and these seats and their configuration will be included in this masterplan process.
This is great but NCC have advised that due to the masterplan work being underway they will not be removing the bars on the seats.
I want NCC to remove the bars - taking out a few screws - now, to make the bench seats more user-friendly, until such time - 6 months - as the plan is developed and implemented.
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