Mayor condemns state of public toilets in Alnwick town centre saying 'they are a disgrace'

Public toilets in Alnwick town centre have been labelled ‘a disgrace’ by the Mayor.

Sunday, 22nd November 2020, 7:00 am

The condition of the facilities at The Shambles, beneath the Northumberland Hall, came up for discussion at a meeting of Alnwick Town Council.

Cllr Gordon Castle, Alnwick county councillor, said: “We’re trying to do something with the toilets at The Shambles and we would very much like to expand them.

The public toilets in The Shambles in Alnwick town centre.

"Nothing like that has been committed to Alnwick. Now I will do my best but at the present time to ask the county council for £150,000 for the public toilets in Alnwick... well, don’t hold your breath.”

He suggested the town council could consider taking them on.

Mayor Lynda Wearn said: "We’re a small town and haven’t got a huge precept or budget and it would be quite an undertaking.

"It always amazes me how frequently other towns seem to get priority over Alnwick.

"I am not saying we would never take them on but we need to be careful. It would be a big chunk out of our budget.

"I would love to see them improved because I think they are a disgrace.”

Cllr Castle pointed out that Holy Island and Seahouses both have very low precepts.

Work on the upgraded toilets, which include Changing Places facilities for the disabled, is due to begin before Christmas.

Cllr Bill Grisdale had initiated the discussion by asking whether the town council should be looking to increase its precept.

Cllr Castle said: “The county council would be very pleased if the town council wanted to take on duties.

"This is a books balancing exercise and about efficiencies, not cutting services. There is an intention not to reduce services if at all possible.

"But I think the town council should be thinking longer term about what its role should be.”

Cllr Geoff Watson added: “We haven’t got the resources of the county council or even the old district council. I am reluctant for the county council to be cutting their budget and us to be increasing ours.”

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