New benches installed in the centre of a seaside town have been deliberately designed to be uncomfortable, council bosses have admitted. Dover town council said it was hoped the wave-shaped benches would deter "extended sitting".
The benches, which are made of seven curved strips of metal to blend in with the shape of the waves, do not have a back or armrest so that shoppers only sit on them for a few minutes.
The chair of the community and services department, Councillor Sue Jones, said: "If they were too comfortable, we would have the gentlemen and ladies of the day lounging on them. They discourage antisocial behaviour."
One local resident, June Murphy, said she was considering staging a protest on one of the benches by sitting on a cushion. She said: "What's the point of having benches if they are not there to be sat on? They might as well put an electric fence up so everyone keeps out."