Public toilets in Northumberland to remain closed in the short-term for safety reasons

Public toilets operated by Northumberland County Council are to remain closed in the short term.

Thursday, 28th May 2020, 2:23 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st May 2020, 11:19 am

The decision has been taken on health and safety grounds following detailed risk assessments.

A council spokesman said: "The council has looked carefully at whether or not it can reopen its public toilets, and reluctantly has taken the decision that it cannot at this time.

“We have a responsibility to prevent the spread of coronavirus, to ensure that the facilities are safe for the public to use and to protect our staff who maintain the toilets.

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Beadnell car park and public toilets. Picture: Google

“After carrying out detailed risk assessments of the facilities it’s concluded that in the short term we need to keep the toilets closed.

“Visitors are asked to bear the closures in mind when planning their journeys.”

A number of council-run car parks reopened last week following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Beadnell was one of them but a local councillor feels the continued closure of the public toilets, with cafes and restaurants also shut, will deter day trippers from coming in larger numbers.

Seahouses public toilets.

Coun Adrian Baker said: “I understand the risk assessment has been done but we were quite firm as a parish council that the car park should not be opened before the toilets.

“I’d like to see people here so I hope there is something happening with regard to trying to sort the problem out.”

Coun Guy-Renner-Thompson, county council member for Bamburgh ward, said: “The risk assessments have been done and they can’t open them safely either for the cleaning staff or the general public. They can’t find a way to let lots of people into small toilets and not risk any virus transmission.”

A request to use the water supply from the public toilets to irrigate the flowers on Wooler High Street had also been turned down, it was revealed at a parish council meeting.

The county council has also revealed it has no immediate plans to reopen more of its car parks.

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