I am writing regarding the intended closure of the Hastings town centre toilet facilities.
A petition has been signed against this closure, and with support on Facebook. The facility is used by countless people daily, from the elderly, disabled, families, tourists and working population as a conveniently and well-located facility. It is always clean and well looked after.
The only other facilities are based in shops such as Debenhams (eight toilets) and Marks and Spenders (three toilets). BHS and Priory Meadow facilities have been shut and a number of coffee shops are for the use of patrons only. Many would find it impossible or difficult to access these other locations due to opening times, access and limitation of facilities, nor would the businesses want their facilities used in this way.
One excuse has been cited that drug users are using the toilets. I and many I have spoken to have never seen this occur since the opening of the facilities. Even if an occasional issue, this would be a police matter and not an excuse to take away facilities that are well-used and required.
It has also been stated that the plans are for a new wine bar on the site. How would this be a good use of space when there are already so many pubs and drinking houses in the location, and where would this deter drug users or alcoholic abuse?
It seems the plans are ill-conceived and not thought out. While it is wonderful to see all the positive changes in Hastings - the pier, the newly-erected kiosks popping up along the seafront - perhaps money would be well-spent on new toilet facilities to accommodate the town centre, with fitting of anti drug-use lighting and CCTV.
Taking away the facilities will be a detriment to all and with negative impact for footfall to all the other facilities based around the town centre.
I appreciate the council are making cuts, however this is not a beneficial cut for the people of Hastings who deserve good public facilities.
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