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Plea to protect Watton's toilets

PUBLISHED: 10:36 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 08 July 2010

WATTON'S mayor is calling on people to help put a stop to the town's public toilets being vandalised.

WATTON'S mayor is calling on people to help put a stop to the town's public toilets being vandalised.

At the beginning of last year they were hailed as toilets the town could be proud of after they reopened following a £100,000 revamp.

But since then the toilets have frequently been targeted by vandals forcing the council to spend hundreds of pounds in extra cleaning bills and repairs.

Town mayor Margaret Holmes said: “The town council took over the public toilets from Breckland Council just over a year ago and has turned what was a very poor facility into something that the town can be proud of and many people now use.

“Unfortunately there is a very small element of the population who seem intent on trying to spoil the facility for everyone.

“We have experienced some nasty pieces of vandalism which is carried out by those in society who can only be described as misfits.”

Jacqui Seal, the town clerk, branded the vandalism as an “absolute disgrace.” She said it included excrement being daubed on the walls and floors, mirrors being broken, and toilet rolls stolen. The door was also kicked in over the Christmas period causing the toilets to be shut for about 10 days.

Mrs Seal said so far the council has had to spend between £700 and £1,000 on repairs because of vandalism.

The town council was given £275,000 by Breckland Council when the district authority transferred ownership of the toilets to the town in May 2008. Some of this was used for the facility's revamp with the rest being set aside to fund the cleaning contract for the toilets and future repairs.

Ms Holmes said: “One of the problems that the council faces is that the commuted sum which has been invested for future refurbishment will be slowly eroded away by having to pay for unnecessary mindless damage.

“We are therefore asking that the public be vigilant and report anything you see or find to the council and help us stop this small minority of people from spoiling our town for both its residents and visitors.”

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