Newark residents concerned about lack of public loos told to use pub and café toilets by council
Residents have complained about a lack of public toilets in Newark.
They claim that only having one in the immediate town centre is insufficient.
They say that in a town with near-weekly events and near-daily markets going on, more should be provided, and that hundreds of people could be put off from returning because of the lack of such facilities, negatively economically impacting the town.
One such resident, Christine Smith, 77, said: “It’s totally disgusting, we have all these wonderful events coming to town and we have only one public toilet.”
The only toilet available in Newark town centre for public use is located in St Mark’s Place, on the corner of Wilko.
There are others, but more on the fringes of the town centre.
Newark Town Council closed the ones in the London Road Carpark, citing their under-use, cost of maintenance and close proximity to St Mark’s Place as reasons.
Christine claims that when she rang the town council to complain, she was told to use a pub or a café if in need of a toilet, and that Lincoln also had no public toilets.
She also said the toilets out of the immediate town centre are not compatible with users with disabilities or the elderly because of the long walks involved.
Christine and her supporters believe that anyone who isn’t from Newark also doesn’t necessarily know where the public toilets are.
They are considering drawing up a petition on the issue.
Newark Town Council clerk Matthew Gleadell said: “As a new clerk at Newark Town Council, I have been impressed by the level of public toilet provision available in Newark. More so the fact that a number of the public toilets are attended and have staff on site through the day to help maintain cleanliness and deal with any problems.
“In addition to public toilets at St Mark’s, castle grounds and riverside carpark there are also public toilets at the Sconce and Devon park. Add to that the provision provided by Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose, Newark Library, the bus station and other venues and there is a good spread of public toilet availability through the town centre.
“I have been particularly impressed with staff at St Mark’s who take the time to decorate the toilet entrance with seasonal themes and in doing so help to provide a warm welcome to those visiting the facility.
“Based on my experience of visiting a number of local cafés, pubs and restaurants, I also feel sure that none of them would turn away someone in urgent need of their facilities.
“I live in a town myself, outside of the district, that has no public toilets whatsoever in its town centre so to see Newark which, in comparison, has a helpful provision is hugely positive for Newark.”
Rhona Holloway, portfolio holder for economic growth and visitors at the district council, said: “For a town centre the size of Newark, there are a good number of toilet facilities for visitors to the town to use.
“There are also toilets available to those visiting Castle House, Newark Library, our supermarkets, entertainment venues (Palace Theatre and Café or National Civil War Centre for example), restaurants and cafés
“We currently do not have any plans to build any additional toilet facilities within the town centre but a list of public toilets available in Newark can be found on our website.”