Village visitors are ‘horrified’ at closed toilets

Public toilets along the riverside in Rothbury.
Public toilets along the riverside in Rothbury.

Another call has been made for a rethink over the closure of toilets in Rothbury.

At last week’s parish council meeting, Chris Butterworth, secretary of Thropton WI, told councillors that members of other WIs who went to the village for a day trip were ‘horrified’ to find that the Riverside toilets had been closed.

Mrs Butterworth said that the council needs to think about equality discrimination and added that even though the facilities were not the best, they were better than none.

She added: “The toilets are also referred to on information for walks and are used by tourists and locals alike.

“I would ask the parish council to go back to Northumberland County Council, who I think failed in their consideration of the matter in the first place.

“I want them to go back and look at costs, what may be possible and then make the decision.

“Please don’t demolish them.”

Chairman Coun Alan Fendley, said: “This parish council is entirely sympathetic to the continued existence of toilets on the Riverside.”

Parish and county Coun Steven Bridgett said: “We are lucky that Rothbury has another facility at Bridge Street.

“The county has to make another £85million of cuts this year and the authority has no statutory obligation to provide public toilets.

“We will have to make more difficult decisions about services and if it comes down to it I would rather that we have something which we have a statutory obligation to provide to the people of Rothbury rather than something for the visitors.

“We haven’t lost a service as we still have the Bridge Street toilets. A lot of communities don’t even have that.

“There are a lot of bigger battles that we are going to have to fight over the next 12 months.”

The parish council is to ask for better signage to be put up to direct people to the Bridge Street facilities.

Residents would have to pay more in their council tax if the parish took over the running of the toilets to cover maintenance and cleaning costs.