Town-centre toilets are criticised for condition

The public toilets in The Shambles in Alnwick town centre.
The public toilets in The Shambles in Alnwick town centre.

A disgusted resident has criticised the condition of the public toilets in Alnwick, fearing that their sorry state puts tourists off from visiting the town centre.

John McLean, who lives near Rothbury, has hit out at the loos at The Shambles, underneath the Northumberland Hall, after using them last week.

He says they were in such a horrible state, that he felt nauseous while using the facilities and ‘dreaded to think what germs and diseases were lurking in there’.

The toilets are owned by Northumberland County Council, which has said that it cleans them regularly.

In an email to the Gazette, Mr McLean, said: ‘I had the unfortunate experience of visiting the toilets in the centre of Alnwick. The first thing that struck me was the smell, unfortunately I was desperate and so I ventured in.

‘The urinals seemed to be the source of the smell and I could see that a thick crust of stale urine and other nasties had built up at the bottom of the trough.

‘In my opinion this area could not have been cleaned in months, I am sorry to say that I did not wash my hands on the way out as I was beginning to feel nauseous and dreaded to think what germs and diseases were lurking in there. Luckily my wife had an antiseptic wipe.

‘I looked on the county council’s website and there seems to be no way of reporting this.

‘Alnwick is supposed to be the jewel in the crown of the Northumberland area with the Castle and Garden nearby. This results in tourists wanting to visit the town, but this experience must surely deter tourists when we should be encouraging them and doing everything we can to make their stay a positive experience.

‘I really do feel that this is deterring tourists from returning and visiting Alnwick town centre. I regularly visit Morpeth where the toilets are regularly and beautifully cleaned.’

A county council spokesman said: “We try our best to keep public lavatories clean and our staff work hard to ensure that toilets in Northumberland are regularly cleaned and open for use.

“If users find the toilets in an unacceptable state, they should call us on 0345 600 6400 so we can return them to an acceptable condition as quickly as possible. ”