A permanent state of kow-tow
The Selfridges company has claimed that studs in the ground outside its Manchester store were installed following customer complaints about smoking and litter.
[“Selfridges claim ‘anti-homeless’ spikes outside store were installed to stop smoking and litter”, Richard Wheatstone, Manchester Evening News, 16 February 2015]
[…] A spokeswoman said: “Selfridges installed the studs on December 1 last year as part of a number of measures to reduce litter and smoking outside the store’s team entrance, following customer complaints.”
But council chiefs are still looking to hold talks with Selfridges bosses to make sure the metal was not installed as an ‘inhumane’ anti-homeless tool.
The town hall’s city centre spokesman Pat Karney said: “I’m amazed that since the story broke on the M.E.N website it’s taken Selfridges more than 18 hours to put out a statement about the issue and offer this explanation.
“I can understand why there is now a lot of confusion and upset about this and I have called Selfridges to the town hall to speak to me about this as soon as possible.”
Academic Cathy Urquhart launched the petition [urging the department store to remove them] on Saturday after seeing the studs for the first time on Friday morning on her regular commute.
She said: “These spikes are an affront to humanity.”
Surely, these studs would actually make removing detritus more difficult, so the ‘litter reduction’ claim looks bogus. Like some other local authorities, Manchester council appears to be in a permanent state of kow-tow to big business. Still, it’s interesting to consider the implications of someone happening to trip on the adjacent footway, and making head contact with the studs.