Is this the worst public toilet in Northampton? Calls made to clear up problem loos

Abbey Street toilets, St James.

Abbey Street toilets, St James.

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Calls are being made to step up patrols in one of Northampton’s last toilet blocks - after it has endured months of vandalism.

The state of the public toilets in Abbey Street, St James, has been the source of numerous complaints in recent years.

Abbey Street toilets, St James.

Abbey Street toilets, St James.

Though the Northampton Borough Council-run facility is well used by taxi drivers and pedestrians, the block often has to remain locked because of a recent vandalism incident.

This week Chronicle & Echo reader Shelley Fletcher sent us a selection of appalling pictures from the toilets in the hope something can be done to stop the vandals.

She said: “People lock them up at weekends and top up the toilet paper regularly, so someone is visiting but they’re doing nothing else, it’s a major health concern.”

Councillor Rufia Ashraf (Lab, St James) launched a campaign to keep St James litter free earlier this month.

Abbey Street toilets, St James.

Abbey Street toilets, St James.

Now she is calling for the Abbey Street toilets to be cleaned more regularly and says she has already started talking to council officers about improving the state of the loos.

Often they are strewn with syringes and used by rough sleepers and recently a toilet seat was smashed to pieces in a cubicle.

She said: “Maybe there needs to be more checks made of it to stop the vandalism occurring.

“It is a public toilet, but if people don’t use it properly my fear is it will be locked up for good.”

Abbey Street toilets, St James.

Abbey Street toilets, St James.

Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Alan Bottwood, said: “Shutting the public toilets on Abbey Street has been necessary to facilitate the cleaning and repairs needed in order for them to open again.

“The toilets have been subjected to extensive damage and are in need of a thorough clean, which is required before repairs can be carried out.

“The cleaning and repairs will be carried out in the very near future and the toilets will open again shortly thereafter. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused.”