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Vandals forcing Spalding's toilets to close

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More police interest and action has been called for as vandals are forcing public toilets to close - leaving market traders unable to use them.

South Holland District Council’s Performance Monitoring Panel members heard of the difficulties faced as vandals continue to damage Spalding facilities.

The authority has started on a programme to renovate the area’s public toilets.

The public toilets on Vine Street, Spalding which were locked up on Friday afternoon
The public toilets on Vine Street, Spalding which were locked up on Friday afternoon

At Wednesday’s meeting Coun Angela Newton questioned why issues continue despite the costly repairs.

She said: “Two weeks ago I was contact by market traders who said the toilets at Vine Street were unusable which caused problems as they could only use the loos at the civic centre after 10am.”

Coun Newton also said that she had been told that problems had been caused for bus drivers as the Winfrey Avenue disabled loos had been locked.

Strategic and operational property manager Marc Whelan told councillors that vandals are managing to break through even three different types of lock.

“We have been finding that often the locks are forced open and ripped apart,” he said.

“In Vine Street it got to the point that even when using three types of lock it didn’t keep them out and they did dismantle a toilet causing a substantial leak.

“The ideal proposal would be for no one to go in and start vandalising them.

“In Holbeach, we are looking at a ‘time lock’ which, if it works, would hopefully sort the Vine Street issue out.”

Repairs and painting in the Vine Street loos cost £3,000 and were completed in January this year. The loos in Winfrey Avenue, which cost £9,020 to revamp, have also been blighted by vandalism.

Chairman Coun Bryan Alcock said that the police ‘need to have more of a keen interest’ and that the authority can’t ‘keep pouring money on repairing vandalism’, while Coun Newton asked if the use of the district’s CCTV cameras would be possible in tackling the issue.

Mr Whelan agreed that this is something which should be looked at.

On a positive note, councillors learned that long awaited work to the toilets in Donington are now complete.

Along with refurbishment, there were structural repairs carried out to the female toilet section at a total cost of £19,809.

Ward member Coun Jane King has been heavily involved in the project and said they are ‘looking brilliant’, adding: “I just hope the little sweeties keep their fingers to themselves.”

Other works include a £28,500 project to remodel the toilets in Holbeach and a further project to work on Spalding’s Sheep Market block.

Coun Chris Brewis commented that there was no mention of Sutton Bridge’s toilets but Mr Whelan confirmed that the facilities are programmed in for later this year.

Coun Alcock added: “You have not been forgotten. You are just at the bottom of the list.”

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