Call for 24-hour toilets in town

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PUBLIC toilets should be left open all night to prevent town centre streets being used by rough sleepers.

Traders fear the problem of people urinating and defecating in some areas of the town is growing – creating grotspots and no-go areas.

One of the latest problem areas is the car park at Spalding Youth Centre in Westlode Street, where one trader found evidence that someone had been using it as a toilet, including used toilet paper.

Spalding businesswoman Julie Grant, of Butters in New Road, said: “Although most of it is being left where the public probably will not be walking, going behind a youth centre to urinate or defecate where youngsters and staff will walk, especially with darker nights upon us, is just not on.

“A way of stopping the problem of faeces on the streets and in hidden alleyways would be for the council to either leave one of the town toilets open 24 hours a day or to have a portable toilet in one of the car parks so that individuals who are living rough have somewhere to use during the night.”

District ward councillor Gary Taylor said it was an option that could be looked at, but said in the past problems with vandalism at facilities left open at night had costs thousands of pounds.

Coun Taylor said he would be willing to set up a task force with other councillors, traders and police to come up with a solution to the problems of anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

He said there has already been some success in clearing problem areas such as Gore Lane, but admitted the problems had just been displaced elsewhere.

Another problem area highlighted by traders is the car park behind HSBC bank, off Francis Street.

Coun Taylor said: “We all have a role to play in solving these problems.

“It is important that people report it and that action is taken immediately to clean it up.

“We need to work together to try and solve the issues, including education and enforcement.

“Providing 24 hour toilets needs to be looked at, but that brings its own problems.

“We do need to take action because this kind of behaviour is not acceptable but it has become a bit of a game of cat and mouse, with them moving from one area to another, creating new grotspots and no-go areas.”