Concern after park toilets repeatedly vandalised

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 June 2012

Archant

THE owners of a café in Weston have hit out at the council for failing to act to prevent vandalism in a park.

Josh Horler, who works at Ashcombe Park Café and is the grandson of its owner Margery Horler, says the female toilets in the park are being repeatedly vandalised.

He said North Somerset Council used to lock the toilets at the park in Upper Bristol Road at night but in recent months has failed to do so, leading to people defacing the facilities.

When the toilets are being fixed by the council, they can be out of use for up to two weeks – which Mr Horler says creates a problem for the café because they are the only public toilets in the park.

He said the family has contacted the council several times about the issue but there seems to be some confusion over whose responsibility they are – the café, the council or its contractors.

Mr Horler said: “What seriously needs to be addressed is the responsibility of who locks them up at night.

“With the café being the only manned building in the park, the responsibility of maintaining the toilets has been mistakenly assumed to be our responsibility.

“They aren’t. We have called and complained about this issue for a number of weeks now, and it takes on average one to two weeks to get the problem sorted. This is the same story every time when defacement of the lavatories occurs.

“But of course trying to get a response out of the council is like trying to verbally coax your shoelaces to untie themselves.”

A council spokesman said: “The toilets are locked at night but the vandalism is occurring during the day.

“We respond to all reports of vandalism, however further incidents are happening within days of us getting the toilets back up and running.

“We are in touch with the police about this issue. We would ask anyone visiting the park who sees anything suspicious to report it to the police.

Councillor Peter Bryant, executive member responsible for parks, said: “The council can’t be expected to keep paying out for mindless acts of vandalism. If this continues we will have no option but to close the toilets. Once again this is a case of the minority spoiling things for the majority.”

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