Hopes of 'significant' funding for refurbishment of ‘smelly, dirty and unpleasant’ public toilets in Alnwick

Public toilets in Alnwick could be in line to get ‘a significant sum’ spent on their refurbishment.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 5:15 pm

The indication was given by local county councillor Gordon Castle when he spoke at a meeting of Alnwick Town Council.

"They are inadequate, they need to be better,” he conceded in response to a letter of complaint from a local resident.

“The county council has allocated £1m across the county for maintenance and improvements to toilets that they own.

Northumberland Hall, Alnwick.
Northumberland Hall, Alnwick.

“It hasn’t yet been through risk appraisal or cabinet but, in my opinion, it is highly likely to materialise and be used for this purpose.

“There is an intention that Alnwick toilets should receive a significant sum of money to be completely revamped, in particular the ones under the Shambles.

“We can’t go further than that at the moment because this is simply a proposal that we know is coming about.

"There are no plans or details in front of us at the moment but I am very optimistic this is going to happen in the coming financial year.”

The public toilets in The Shambles in Alnwick town centre.

In her letter to the town council, Debbie Bakkali labelled the town’s public toilets ‘an embarrassment’ and called them ‘smelly, dirty and unpleasant’.

She called for the facilities, owned by the county council, to be given ‘a thorough clean and freshen up’ before the visitor season starts. She also suggested employing attendants.

"At the moment I don’t think that would be practical in the present layout but it’s not out of the question if they are revamped differently which is the intention,” said Cllr Castle.

Members were told that charges could only be introduced if the town council took responsibility for them or they were privately run.

"The county council’s policy is not to charge,” said Cllr Castle. “If the town council took them over they would have that choice.”

Cllr Geoff Watson said: "Part of the redesign could be that we put paid turnstiles in and that money could be used for the upkeep of the toilets.”

The county council is already progressing a £315,000 refurbishment of the conveniences in Seahouses and on Holy Island.

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