Park toilets made tougher to trash

PUBLISHED: 11:00 05 May 2014

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FIXING Grove Park's vandalised pay-to-use public toilets will cost more than £5,000, prompting one councillor to warn he believes the facilities will be damaged again.

The three toilets’ cash machines were ripped out of the walls, just days after they were installed by Weston Town Council last month.

The council is currently refurbishing six sets of toilets, including Locking Road car park, Clarence Park, Ashcombe Park, The Maltings at Worle and Links Road in Uphill.

But now cash machines which were scheduled to be delivered to the other conveniences will now be diverted to Grove Park.

During the town council’s policy and finance committee meeting on Monday night members were told it will cost £5,345 to repair the damage and the cleaning company has been instructed to empty the machines daily.

Town council clerk Malcolm Nicholson said: “We are now in the process of having steel plates manufactured that will hold the ticket machines in. By the bank holiday weekend it should be possible to get the toilets open again and hopefully they will be much more secure.

“There will be notices on them pointing out they are emptied daily so there will be little or no cash overnight.”

But councillor Mark Canniford said he was disappointed there were no portable toilets open over the weekend, when the park was used for St George’s Day celebrations.

He said: “I accept that vandalism is, which I am sad to say, all part of the life we live in today. However we should have been a bit more savvy because these things are going to happen and these toilets will get damaged again.

“We had 500 youngsters in the park doing all the things we want them to do, celebrating St George’s Day and we cannot even do our little bit to help.

“We need to look at our emergency planning. Everyone knows my feelings about it, I think it was mad to go into this and will be proved so in time.”

Chairman of the meeting, Cllr Peter Crew, said the council intends to put a link in place with North Somerset regarding big events in the park.

He said: “If we had been notified then we could have made sure there was something in place.”

Cllr Roger Bailey also suggested adding extra CCTV cameras and Cllr Crew said this will be looked into.

Cllr Bailey added: “I think we did the right thing and I am proud of the toilets we have got.

“We can point to that and say we have done that, and the toilets are important.”

The Maltings facilities should be operational tomorrow (Fri) and Locking Road on Tuesday, subject to work being completed.

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