A popular public bench has been reinstated just weeks after it was mysteriously removed by Barnet Council.

The seating at the corner of Beresford Avenue and Russell Lane, in East Barnet, vanished earlier this year, leaving local councillors, police and the local residents’ association scratching their heads.

Barnet Council later admitted it had confiscated the bench following complaints of anti-social behaviour.

But the removal sparked an outcry from local residents, forcing the local authority to install a new bench just weeks after having the original one removed.

The East Barnet Residents' Association (EBRA) and local councillors had earlier been asked about proposals to remove the seat to deal with problem drinkers.

But the EBRA committee and local councillor Andreas Tambourides insisted the bench must stay as it is regularly used by elderly and disabled people during the day.

The replacement, which appears to have had a plaque removed before its installation, arrived earlier this month.

Dan Hope, chairman of the residents’ association, said: “It is great to see the bench has been restored and hopefully we will find out why it was removed in the first place.

“Hopefully the council will learn its lesson and consult people before removing benches in future.”