Work planned by Bristol City Council to clear undergrowth has caused concern to it’s own LGB advisory group.
Scrub & undergrowth clearance work beside Circular Road on Bristol’s Downs has been planned for some years following compaints from some Downs users regarding “inappropriate sexual activity”.
The council’s Rainbow Group have been reported to have said that the plan would potentially discriminate gay men, as some of them meet in the area to have sex.
Peter Wilkinson, Head of Parks for BCC told BBC News “The general public are unhappy about people taking part in lewd behaviour in public spaces, whether it’s between men and women or people of the same sex”.
Mr Wilkinson also said that they would be working together with the Terrence Higgins Trust to make sure that any work is carried out in a sensitive manner.
The matter caused great debate within the local media, with the Bristol Evening Post’s website withdrawing their comments feature for the story due to the offensive nature of some of the comments they had received.
Many local councillors also voiced their concerns regarding the matter, with Tory councillor Peter Abraham, the Lord Mayor between 2005 & 2007, saying that letting the area remain wild was not an option, and that a by-product of clearing the scrub may lead to lower levels of sexual activity at the location which is in an area close to Ladies Mile – popular with families and children visiting the nearby zoo.