Loos to get a spruce up

MUCH more than a penny will have to be spent to make urgent improvements at its public toilets.

The facility at the car park off Thornhill Road is owned and operated by Ponteland Town Council and it is cleaned on its behalf by Northumberland County Council.

An inspection was carried out following a complaint from a resident and one of the main concerns was about the extent of graffiti in the men’s section.

Coun Robin Ramsay, who prepared a report about the issue for a recent full council meeting, said: “The inspection revealed that there was some appalling graffiti on the walls and we took immediate action to repaint them.

“We also realised that a certain amount of work is required to bring the toilets up to a better standard. However, this doesn’t affect our examination of what to do with them in the long-term.”

The remedial works, which will be carried out in the near future, include the replacement of toilet seats and lids (some being no longer in position), replacement of the nappy-changing worktop, removal of vegetation to roof, checking of electrics, replacement of hand-dryers, power washing of floor and some overall redecorating.

The estimated total cost is £2,000 and in view of the relatively small amounts involved for each item, members authorised the clerk to proceed on the basis of a sole or two quotes as is judged appropriate.

The graffiti was reported to the police and Coun Richard Dodd said that at a recent Local Multi Agency Problem Solving (LMAPS) meeting, officers said they are regularly keeping an eye on the toilets to try to deter people from spraying paint on the walls.