Elderly residents have been left with nowhere to sit after a series of town centre benches were replaced with new versions without backs.

The angry shoppers have branded the £78,000 revamp of Braintree’s town centre fountain as a waste of money.

Work to renovate St Michael’s Fountain, at the top of Braintree High Street, took place in October and November last year.

As part of the changes, which included repairs to stone slabs, new paving and plant beds, eight new timber benches were installed.

But, unlike the previous benches, shoppers are unable to lean back on the new seats.

Mary Hunt, 74, said: “It is a waste of money, it makes me mad."