The Ladies and Gents toilets in Falkland Square reopened earlier this week, with health and safety signs in place, to remind people to keep to the recommended social distance and wash their hands. The single toilet for those with disabilities, at the end of the block, for which a key is needed, came back into service at the end of June.
Councils in the UK were advised by the Government in a letter from Simon Clarke MP, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Rebecca Pow MP, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that reopening public toilets was “a matter of urgency” over fears for public health and the combination of the hotter weather and Government’s push to support outdoor hospitality. Councils were advised to consider the harm to public health and the local environment caused by “people relieving themselves in public.”
Crewkerne Town Council who maintain the public toilets in Falkland Square, carried out a full risk assessment before reopening them. They are asking members of the public to maintain the required social distance when entering and leaving the cubicle block, to wait outside during busy times and wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds after using the facilities.
Shoppers are delighted that the public conveniences have reopened. The good news will allay previous concerns, expressed by different age groups and those with health conditions, of staying too long in the town centre in case they were, “caught short and needed to spend a penny.” A major refurbishment of the toilets is a top priority. Crewkerne Town Council stepped in to take responsibility of maintaining them in 2014 when SSDC relinquished the responsibility.
In a past statement, Crewkerne Town Council said: “The public toilets in Falkland Square were already tired when the Town Council inherited them. The Council is therefore working towards a major refurbishment of the toilets, not only to modernise them but also to make them more energy efficient.”