Assurance over public toilets

HERTS County Councillors have assured the Royston public that the closing of the Fish Hill toilets is temporary, despite them being shut on two separate occasions this month.

The five cubicle block has a notice on one of the doors that says they are closed due to vandalism, sparking confusion amongst residents over the details of the incident that forced them to be shut.

However, Cllr Peter Burt, portfolio holder for waste, recycling and the environment has confirmed they were closed due to drainage problems.

“The public toilets at Fish Hill, Royston were closed over the weekend of October 2 due to blocked pipes. They were re-opened on Monday October 4 following a site-visit from our contractor,” said Cllr Burt.

“Unfortunately the toilets became blocked again on Thursday October 7, at which point, upon inspection, the contractors could not get them flowing again.

“They subsequently conducted a camera survey which found that the drains were blocked with stones, clay and gravel, and that there were several issues with the drains, including materials falling into the pipes. We believe the problem was exacerbated by recent heavy rain.”

Campaigner Terry Hutt, who maintains the public toilets at the bus station, said: “It’s a good job we have kept these toilets (at the bus station) open, because they are the closest ones to Fish Hill.

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“Without these and with Fish Hill shut the closest ones would have been at the Cross, which is too far for some people to get to.

“I don’t know why the door said they had been vandalised, as this has now been confirmed as not the case.”

Cllr Burt confirmed work was going to start soon to get the toilets, which were given a Loo of the Year award in August, working again.

“The Council is currently looking at plans of the site in order that excavations around the damaged pipes can proceed and ultimately, the problem be fixed.

“It is estimated the repair works will be completed by the end of October, however no date can be confirmed as yet.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause residents.”