Pensioner wants centre benches back

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Elvie Dann is disappointed the external benches at Stirling Central were removed.
Camera IconElvie Dann is disappointed the external benches at Stirling Central were removed. Credit: Tamra Carr/Picture: Tamra Carr, Tamra Carr The Geraldton Guardian.

External seating at Stirlings Central has been removed following a slew of customer reports about antisocial behaviour, a move Geraldton pensioner Elvie Dann says has left her with nowhere to rest after her shopping.

Ms Dann, 76, often walks to the Sanford Street complex from her unit on Lester Avenue and regularly sits on an outside bench before making her way home.

She said it was often too crowded in the shop’s cafe area to sit, so the benches adjacent to The Reject Shop were ideal for her and other elderly shoppers.

She noticed they were no longer there at the beginning of May.

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“It’s a big concern for me as a pensioner and for other older people who want a place to sit down when they do their shopping,” Ms Dann said.

“I’ll be 77 in September.

“It’s a bit of a hike for me.

“I’m very unhappy I can’t go there and sit down.”

A spokeswoman for SCA Property Group, which bought Stirlings Central from Vicinity Centres last year, said the benches were taken away after a large number of customer complaints.

“The centre management team received a significant amount of customer feedback that those benches were attracting antisocial behaviour,” she said.

“Taking on board the feedback and upon review, for safety and security reasons the benches were removed.”

Ms Dann said she understood why the benches had been removed, but wished the elderly had been considered more when the decision was made.

She also had stern words for people creating problems in public spaces.

“Leave your problems at home,” the pensioner said.

“Other people are utilising the space too and there are some older people who aren’t in as good health as me that need seating.

“You can’t just behave as you would in your own house.”

SCA Property Group is talking to Ms Dann about the seating issue.

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