A woman has blasted a housing association for taking away her disabled husband's bench.

Angie Parry is upset that Clarion Housing decided to remove a wooden bench outside their home in Welham Close in Borehamwood following complaints.

Clarion says it became aware that the brown bench had become a "hotspot" for people to sit down and smoke and as a result, cigarette butts were being left on the ground.

Borehamwood Times:

But for Angie's other half, Matt Pettitt, the seat provided the fresh air he needs and an escape from the flat.

Within the last six years, Matt has undergone two rounds of chemotherapy and recently spent around seven weeks in hospital. He has also had to battle a number of illnesses and infections throughout the last years including sepsis and meningitis.

Ms Parry, who has lived in Welham Close for 18 years, said: "Matt uses this bench so he doesn't feel trapped in the the flat. It gives him that little quality of life and freedom and it just feels like Clarion are being petty and thoughtless. It's not doing any harm.

"I don't think taking away the bench will stop the problem. Instead of proving plastic buckets, maybe they should provide metal buckets or ashtrays. Plus, anyone could be throwing these butts down. They don't know if it's people using the bench."

Borehamwood Times:

The bench is owned by Angie and Matt who bought it around three years ago.

She added: "Then last month we got this letter which said we had to move the bench by a certain date. We didn't and then it was slyly removed."

A spokeswoman for Clarion said: "The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority. We appreciate the bench was well used, however, unfortunately, we became aware through complaints that it was often being used as a spot for people to smoke at.

"As a result, lots of cigarette butts were being left on the ground and people walking in and out of the entrance were having to walk through cigarette smoke."

Borehamwood Times:

Clarion provided this picture taken by a caretaker which does show cigarette butts in the stones

The spokeswoman added: "We wrote to the residents to ask that they remove the bench, which is not owned by Clarion, by June 17. The bench was not removed, so in the interest of the wellbeing and safety of all our residents living in the block we have removed the bench.

"We have considered whether there is another place the bench could be moved to where it would have less of an impact on people coming in and out of the building, however there were no other suitable options. We would be very happy to meet with residents to explore other ideas."