A council has removed a series of amusing plaques that had been added to park benches, claiming people could be offended by them.
The plaques began appearing around Chester and were put up by a group of street artists who said they had added them “in good grace” and “for the residents and visitors of Chester to enjoy while they can”.
One of the bench plaques read: “This bench is dedicated to the men who lost the will to live whilst following their partners around the shoe shops of Chester.”
Another read: “This bench is reserved for the young, beautiful and affluent. If you are old, ugly or poor please sit elsewhere.”
The signs were put up in a bid to raise awareness over council plans to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which is being proposed to combat anti-social behaviour in the city.
Among other plaques was one featuring the message: “If you shut your eyes for more than 10 seconds whilst on this bench you may be deemed asleep, and risk facing an ASBO. By Order of Public Space Protection Orders under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.”
Another declared a bench: “The Homeless Inn”, and advised “Opening hours 22:00-07:00, 364 days of the year (Closed Christmas Day)”.
But council officials failed to see the funny side and have taken the signs down. “We have removed the plaques from five benches and although they may appear humorous, some people may find them offensive and it has cost the council taxpayer money for officers to locate and remove them,” Maria Byrne, head of place operations for Chester Council, said. (I note from her Linkedin profile she lists herself as an HR Professional which perhaps explains her bureaucratic and officious response).
“If anyone knows who is responsible we would like to hear from them.” (I am sure there will be thousands of distressed residents of Chester rushing to contact this harridan to express their “offence” at such displays of humour).
Source:BTonline with additional comments by me.