Despite work, council bemoans state of toilets

The public toilets in The Shambles in Alnwick town centre.
The public toilets in The Shambles in Alnwick town centre.

Councillors expressed their extreme dissatisfaction with the unfinished refurbishment work being carried out at the public toilets in Alnwick.

The facilities in The Shambles are in the midst of a £12,700 refurbishment funded by £3,700 from the county council and £3,000 each from Alnwick Town Council and county councillors Heather Cairns and Gordon Castle.

A finish date for the works was originally set for the start of the school summer holidays, but a council spokeswoman told the Gazette last month that the final work required the toilets to be closed and they have been so busy over the summer that the authority did not want to do this.

At the October meeting of the town council, members heard that the work was now due to be completed today and tomorrow and Monday and Tuesday.

Coun Martin Harrington was frustrated at how the work had been done. “It just seems so unprofessional,” he said. “There’s nobody taking responsibility and nobody steering the ship.”

Coun Chris Goodfellow said: “I hope that the work that needs to be done is done to a better standard than the work that has already been done.”

The clerk and Coun Cairns are to arrange a meeting with a county-council chief.

Coun Sheila Mavin raised the issue of people being able to use other toilets in the town centre. Northumberland County Council does run a scheme, known as You’re Welcome, in which pubs or other places allow people to use their toilets even if they aren’t customers.

Coun David Farrar pointed out that The George, on Bondgate Within, is part of the scheme and is paid £600 per year, but it is not publicised at all. He suggested that rather than going to the county council on this, the town council should look at running its own scheme.