Complaints about public toilets in Northumberland coastal village lead to calls for refurbishment

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Fresh calls have been made for the refurbishment of public toilets in Alnmouth following complaints from the public.

The plea was made by Alnmouth Parish Council which reported receiving a number of complaints about the facilities at Marine Road even though they are the responsibility of Northumberland County Council

Chairman Shaun Whyte said: “I can’t stress enough the degree of contact, and I’m putting that politely, that we’re getting from visitors complaining about the state of the toilets.

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"I don’t think it’s a question of cleanliness. When you go into them the infrastructure looks so shabby that it looks dirty, even if it’s been cleaned. It’s terrible. The windows on the outside are falling to pieces. We’re getting angst from the public who use it.

Public toilets in Alnmouth.Public toilets in Alnmouth.
Public toilets in Alnmouth.

“It’s going to cost a lot of money. They need a complete gutting.”

Northumberland County Council has already signalled plans for a £1million revamp of public toilets over the next two years in its budget.

Works have already taken place in the key locations of Bamburgh, Seahouses and Holy Island.

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Cllr Martin Swinbank, local county councillor, agreed: “We’re pushing very hard on it. I absolutely agree that they’re not up to standard and need investment… particularly with it being on the coast and the area being a visitor attraction.”

Cllr Gordon Castle, fellow county councillor, added: “There is a sum of money that hasn’t been through cabinet yet but I am very hopeful because the leader has made it clear to us that he will be supporting this money going through which is to refurbish toilets across the county which are the responsibility of the county council.

"On that list we are told that Alnmouth is included but I can’t tell you how much.

"Alnwick is also included. The main ones at The Shambles are in a listed building so need planning permission so that’s going to take a while. It will be done after the summer and we think the ones at Greenwell Lane are also going to be refurbished to a lesser extent.”

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The council has already had surveys done of all of the toilets to understand what the maintenance requirements are in terms of the fabric of the building, the decor and any damage to appliances.

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