Hastings town centre toilets to close in April

Harold Place toilets. SUS-170223-091505001
Harold Place toilets. SUS-170223-091505001

The toilets in Harold Place will be closing on April 1, the council said this week.

Last Wednesday (February 22), Hastings Borough Council decided to shut the facilities in order to make savings in its budget.

Since the proposals to shut the town centre toilets were unveiled, petitions by angry residents were set up, with scores of people signing them.

A demonstration organised by Hastings Ore WI was also held outside the toilets in Ore last month in protest, where dozens held placards in a ‘queue for the loo’.

Campaigners fighting to keep the public conveniences in Ore open won their battle though as the council last Wednesday backed a recommendation made by cabinet not to close them.

Conservatives on the borough council put forward an amendment to the budget at last Wednesday’s full council meeting, calling for the town centre toilets in Harold Place to remain open, but it failed.

Conservative councillor, Martin Clarke, said: “Does it make sense to close these toilets in a seaside town that is looking to expand and prosper?”

Fellow Conservative councillor, Rob Cooke, said the nearest toilets visitors and residents could use at events like Jack-in-the-Green and the May Day Bikers event were in Harold Place.

But Cllr Richard Street, from the ruling Labour group, said: “With 500 metres of Harold Place there are six public toilets, for example in Pelham car park, in Priory Meadow and in the newly refurbished library.

“The idea that closing this one toilet block in Harold Place will suddenly mean everyone performing their business in alleyways is quite frankly ridiculous.”

And Labour councillor, Warren Davies, said: “The toilets in Harold Place are an eyesore. They are not attractive. It’s as simple as that.

“They are ugly and not adding to our urban street scene. But we do recognise many members of the public will miss them.”

The authority is exploring other uses for the building where the toilets are housed.

Kevin Boorman, council spokesman, said: “We are keen to make the most of this site, and will look at all options before deciding what to do with it.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/ 2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hastingsobserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.