Loos condemned as ‘not fit for use’

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THE state of toilets in Rye are still causing a stink.

The public conveniences at Crownfields, opposite the railway station were slammed by Rye Town Council’s public services committee when it met recently.

Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore said: “The toilets are Crownfields still smell really bad and I cannot understand why. I would want to use them.”

There was even talk on the committee that the only way to solve the problem would be to demolish the toilets and build new ones.

Rye Town Clerk Richard Farhall said: “There is a theory that the building has always been very damp and that contributes to the smell.”

The committee heard, from Cllr Mary Smith that a “whistle-blower” from Rother Council’s cleaning contractors had said that cleaning chemicals were being too diluted that they were not effective.

Cllr Smith said: “The problem is that those toilets by the station are over-used.

“Rother closed down the nearby toilets at Ropewalk and put them up for rent and sale yet nothing has happened.

“The lavatories at Crownfields are not fit for purpose.”

Colonel Anthony Kimber, from Rye emergency planning group REACT, said: “The loos there are quite serviceable, this is surely a case of bad management.

“The boat-owner’s toilets at Strand Quay, which are managed by the Environment Agency, are properly maintained, while other toilets in the town are appalling.”

Rye police community support officer Neil Holden said: “Other public conveniences around the town seem to be in a good condition, but there is something drastically wrong with the one by the station. It is in a bad way.”

Cllr Mike Eve said: “What we want is an attitude of mind that says – let’s make these the best toilets in the county. That station toilet is a total disgrace and Rother should be ashamed.”

The committee resolved to ask Rother Council for the details and terms of the cleaning contract for public conveniences in the town and to ask that a cleaning chart be put in place at the Crownfields toilets.

Rother District Council head of amenities Kim Ross has said: “Toilets are cleaned twice a day, three times at peak use, and generally are in a clean state.

“On the more general maintenance issues with the structure of the toilets, we are aware that some of them are in a deteriorating state of repair and are coming towards the end of their lives. As much as we would like to refurbish them all, the current financial situation in local authorities – including the requirement to find almost £2million in savings following a reduced government settlement

“If there is ever a problem with the cleanliness of the toilets, members of the public and the town council can contact us on 01424 787000 and we will dispatch a team to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.”