A BLIND man has voiced his frustration after the council ripped out a park bench "without any warning". 

Jay Home visited Freemantle Lake Park with his dog, Simpson, where he noticed a bench had been replaced with a shelter. 

The 34-year-old said it was removed last week and that residents were not notified.

Jay, who lives in the Freemantle area, said: "About a week ago, the council removed the bench that used to be here. 

"Me and my girlfriend were shocked when we first noticed it missing."

Jay, who is also autistic says that the elderly and people with disabilities are distressed because there is nowhere for them to sit down.

He has criticised the shelter, adding: "You also can't seek shelter here as there are holes in the roof. The fact that you can't stay dry under the shelter, doesn't help. 

"I was standing under here on Saturday whilst it was raining and I was soaking wet."Daily Echo: "You can sense that everyone is upset."

Another person who has pitched in their opinion is Theresa Kimber.

She goes to the park to walk her daughter's rescued French bulldog, Pepa.

Theresa said: "I noticed the bench was missing and I wondered why. Does anybody know why? 

"What about the people who used to love that seat and it was important to them? Daily Echo:

Theresa says the park is lovely and well presented, however, she thinks the council should tell residents before they make any changes. 

She added: "They should involve the public in the decisions the all pay our bills and mortgages and I think they should ask us."

Jay, along with other residents, is now looking to launch a petition to reinstall the bench.

He said: "The petition is being supported by old people and young children, so there are a lot of outcries." 

However, the Labour councillor for the Freemantle ward, Dave Shields, said that the bench is due to be replaced. 

He said: "I received a message on Facebook on Tuesday posted by the Friends of Freemantle Lake Park stating how the bench is now being reinstated by the council over the next few weeks following local representations.

"This is a victory for common sense and results from constructive dialogue between the different parties, which I and other local councillors very much welcome."

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