Longridge Town Council ends eight week loo lock-out

Vandal hit toilets are to be reopened in a Lancashire market town this week - after the town council decided to unlock the doors.

By Fiona Finch
Thursday, 9th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 7:17 am
Mayor of Longridge Coun Steve Ashcroft
Mayor of Longridge Coun Steve Ashcroft

The move ends a two month “inconvenience” after Longridge Town Council shut the doors following vandalism which left it with a £7,000 repair bill.

This week the council has agreed to re-open the facilities for public use, but has warned it will be keeping a close eye on costs.

It says it has budgeted to spend £8,500 in the next financial year for the ongoing maintenance of the facility.

A statement issued by the council noted:“Council took the very difficult decision in November 2019 to close the public toilets on Berry Lane as a temporary measure due the increasing number of incidents of vandalism and the associated costs.”

The council says it has reviewed management arrangements. In addition to repairs the council had been spending £6,500 a year on cleaning.

It considered imposing a charge for use of the facilities and strengthening doors, but instead has adjusted monitoring arrangements.

Mayor Coun Steve Ashcroft said: “The people who clean the toilets are taking on a bigger role in reporting issues and problems. We want to make sure we spot where there are problems early.”

He said this would speed up the reporting of any problems to the lavatory owners Ribble Valley Borough Council and added: "It’s important a town like Longridge offers this facility to visitors and residents."

* The lavatories are open from 8am to 5.30pm in winter and from 8am until dusk in summer. Throughout the closure the disabled toilet was still accessible for RADAR key users.