A PETITION has been launched by Kidderminster residents calling for new “eyesore” record seats to be removed from the town centre, weeks after they were installed.

The group, Residents Against Town Seating (RATS), have launched an online petition, as well as petitioning in Kidderminster town centre, asking Wyre Forest District Council to remove the newly-installed vinyl record seats as they are “a safety hazard, an eyesore and unfit for purpose”.

The seats have been specially designed to reflect the music heritage of the town and will form part of the new Music Heritage Trail, which is due to launch this summer. They are also part of the district council’s public realm scheme, which is part of a wider £2million investment programme.

Gary Darlington, who has helped launch the petition, said the group now have more than 500 signatures and will look at presenting the petition to the district council soon.

However, Councillor John Campion, has defended the seating saying they are meant to provide something “unique and bespoke” for residents and visitors.

Mr Darlington said: “First and foremost the seats are a safety hazard with the jagged edges sticking out.

“Lots of people are also commenting saying they are too low for them to sit on and are also uncomfortable. A lot of elderly residents particularly feel that way.

“Many residents also don’t realise they are meant to be seats. They are already saying they won’t sit on them.

“The plaques on the seats related to this music heritage don’t really have any significance to the town. There is no strong link and it’s like they are clutching at straws to try and link it to the town.

“Why not focus on the carpet industry – that’s what our town is famous for. There’s a lot of concern in the town about these seats – they are a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Paul Gray added: “It’s overwhelming how people feel about these seats.

“I also noticed last week three of them have been cordoned off as they have great big corners sticking out.

“It’s been an enormous waste of money and why the music heritage theme. Why when we have the carpet trade – that’s the heritage of Kidderminster, not music.”

Cllr Campion, cabinet member for planning and economic regeneration, said: “The council consulted widely on both the public realm improvements and the Music Heritage Trail and received positive feedback.

“However, we recognise that people are, of course, entitled to their point of view and that public art is subjective.

“The idea of the seating is to provide something unique and bespoke for residents and visitors and to honour the town’s musical heritage.

“We will be building on this theme over the coming months, including at this year’s Kidderminster Arts Festival in August, as we develop the Music Heritage Trail, which will highlight musical connections to Kidderminster over the years.”

To view the RATS petition, visit ipetitions.com/petition/rats-residents-against-town-seating.