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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Wait is over as Cumbrian town gets its public loos back

Atwo-year row over a town’s lack of public toilets is over as new facilities are finally opened.

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Good for the town: Wigton councillor David Ferriby

In March 2010 the Allerdale council-run toilet blocks on Water Street were demolished as part of a £1.2m revamp of the Market Hall building.

They were replaced with a single communal multi-sex toilet, prompting complaints from residents.

But now, after negotiations between the NADT (North Allerdale Development Trust), the town council and Allerdale council, the toilets have reopened with male, female and disabled facilities.

Wigton town councillor David Ferriby has been campaigning for the conveniences to be reinstated.

Mr Ferriby said: “The people of Wigton will welcome it as a sign that the town is getting things right.

“In the past visitors asked where the toilets were and found that they were totally inadequate.

“Lots of people have complained about the services.

“Now there are male and female as well as disabled ones.”

People had complained that the lack of adequate facilities meant that queues built up, causing problems particularly for the elderly and those with young children.

Mr Ferriby said: “There’s been pressure from the government to close public toilets and we have taken the initiative and made ourselves responsible.

“The toilets will be maintained by the town council after lots of complaints about the inadequate services.

“There have been several years of people complaining and frequent queues waiting to use the toilets.”

Denise Phillips, NADT chairwoman, said: “The Board of North Allerdale Development Trust is delighted to announce that the long-standing issue of public toilet provision in Wigton has been resolved.

“The new improved facilities have been achieved by hard work and co-operation through NADT working together with Wigton Town Council and Allerdale Council. We would like to thank both parties for their help and co-operation.”

Last year Mary Heslam, chairwoman of the Wigton Wiza Group, said that it was unacceptable that there was one toilet to be used by men, women and children.

The new facilities extend into what was an adjacent storeroom.

Planning permission was applied for and the construction of the toilets was given the go-ahead in March. A planning document states that the opening hours will be between 8am and 6pm seven days a week.

Allerdale council had pledged £15,000 to help solve problems with the toilets.

JJohnson@cngroup.co.uk

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