Alnwick public toilets closed after vandalism

Public toilets in The Shambles, Alnwick, which are closed because of vandalism. Picture Jane Coltman
Public toilets in The Shambles, Alnwick, which are closed because of vandalism. Picture Jane Coltman

Vandals have forced the closure of public toilets in Alnwick, just days after the loos were reopened following an earlier spate of damage.

The facilities at The Shambles, underneath the Northumberland Hall, were shut earlier this week as a result of louts causing more than £1,000 of destruction over the weekend. Both the male and female toilets were targeted, with damage to pans, taps and cistern.

Northumberland County Council has said that the loos will remain closed until they are repaired. In the meantime, people can use the George Inn, on Bondgate Within, as part of the authority’s You’re Welcome to Use Our Loo scheme. A Radar Key is also available from Alnwick Tourist Information Centre for the disabled toilet at The Shambles.

The vandalism has been condemned by councillors. Alnwick Major Bill Grisdale said: “We need to do something because it is getting ridiculous. It is sad that these vandals seem to want to carry out that mindless damage.

“We are trying to get others involved in the You’re Welcome scheme as back-up if the toilets are vandalised again.”

Alnwick town and county councillor Gordon Castle branded the incident ‘very disappointing’ and said that an option might be to install CCTV in the area to identify or deter future culprits. Alnwick county councillor Heather Cairns described the vandalism as shocking.

A county council spokeswoman said: “We had just completed repairs from the last incidence of vandalism and reopened the toilets on Christmas Eve.

“They have been vandalised again over the weekend, with pans, taps and cistern all damaged, and we closed them to the public again on Tuesday morning. We will arrange repairs and reopening as soon as possible.”