Town council calls for public toilet investment

Calls have been made by town councillors for a significant investment in Berwick's public toilets provision.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 10 August, 2018, 09:26
Castlegate public toilets

Concerns about the condition of the Castlegate public toilets, owned by Northumberland County Council, have been highlighted again.

Coun Karin Graham, speaking at Berwick Town Council’s local services committee on Monday, said: “As a town hoping to thrive on tourism, public toilets should be a priority.

“Our toilets are not up to scratch. We get criticised about them year after year.

“We have had a hot summer and the Castlegate toilets have reportedly been exceptionally smelly in that time.

“They should really be building us a whole new block of toilets with windows that open to allow ventilation.”

Town clerk Gareth Davies felt the design of the toilets was not fit for purpose for the 21st century, especially for people with disabilities.

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He also noted that provision will have to be discussed further when the lease for toilets in Eastern Lane and Woolmarket ends in a couple of years’ time.

Coun Robert Bruce, committee chairman, said: “We need some answers. We can’t go on year after year with the same problem. Something needs to be done.

There have been discussions between officers about the possible installation of sanitisers at the toilets with the county council willing to pay the costs of electrical works if the town council picked up the on-going costs. However, the local services committee felt this was ‘a slippery slope’ towards the handover of more responsibilities to the town council and declined the option.

Coun Bruce said: “It’s up to the county council to resolve the problem.”

Coun Brian Parkin added: “It seems like another thing that is being passed down from the county council to parish council to save costs but taking it out of a different pot. It’s their responsibility to keep the toilets at a standard.”