Frustration as toilet opening hours cut short

Toilets next to the Touist Information Centre, Amble'Picture Jane Coltman
Toilets next to the Touist Information Centre, Amble'Picture Jane Coltman

Frustrated councillors have spoken of their disappointment after extended opening hours of the town’s public toilets have been cut short.

Over the last few months, members have called for the toilets at the harbour and next to the tourist information centre (TIC) to stay open longer than 5pm during the summer months.

Recently, Northumberland County Council agreed to extend the operating hours to 7pm.

But after a report of vandalism at the TIC toilets, on Queen Street, the authority has reduced this to 6pm.

At this month’s town council meeting, Mayor Coun Craig Weir said that the word vandalism was too strong as nothing was damaged.

Coun Helen Lewis said that she believed that the incident was more a case of anti-social behaviour. She added: “We should send a letter to the county council saying that we are very disappointed that after such a short trial and one complaint they have seen it fit to reduce the opening hours.

“This is just the start of the summer season and we hoped it would go for longer than this.”

Clerk Elaine Brown added that the county council’s neighbourhood services team would be keeping a close eye on the situation.

Years ago the toilets used to be open until 8pm from Easter/April until the end of September, but this was stopped as a result of vandalism.

At the April meeting of the town council, members said that they wanted to explore the options available to extend the opening hours of the toilets.

With Amble trying to promote itself as a tourism town, including the development of the harbour village, members agreed that it was important for toilet provision to be extended.

The toilets were extended until 7pm from May 13, but the decision to close them at 6pm was made just under a week later.