Sunday, 20 August 2017

‘Smelly’ public toilets in line for £40,000 revamp

PLANS have been drawn up for the refurbishment of public toilets at Mill Meadows.

PLANS have been drawn up for the refurbishment of public toilets at Mill Meadows.

The facilities at the Leichlingen Pavilion, which are more than 20 years old and prone to bad smells, are due to a complete overhaul.

The work is likely to cost Henley Town Council around £40,000.

Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, who chairs the council’s Mill Meadows and river-sub-committee, compiled the report saying the decor, floor and wall tiles of the toilets were “dour and dowdy”.

He said: “The flooring is brown tiling, which is non-slip and not conducive to cleaning. However well the toilets are cleaned, they still look scruffy and dirty.”

The flushing mechanisms of the toilets were poor and the surface sewerage pipes had no access for rodding.

It is proposed to have a new floor and wall tiles, using large tiles to reduce the amount of grout used as this collects odours.

Other plans include:

New cubicles on legs to aid cleaning underneath and locks that can be opened from the outside in case of an emergency.

Wall-hung toilets with flushing handles in the gents’ toilets.

New surface sewerage pipes.

Better lighting and the walls and ceilings re-painted.

Vanity unites instead of sinks in the ladies’ toilets.

No plugs, to avoid flooding, automatic soap dispensers, battery operated air-fresheners and Dyson-type hand driers.

Shatter-resistant mirrors.

The smaller ladies toilet would be made into a family changing room, while the existing disabled toilet and baby-change area would become a disabled toilet only.

A working group will finalise the plans and will take advice from the British Toilet Association, which works to ensure that certain standards are met in toilets.

Councillor David Clenshaw said: “Part of the problem at Mill Meadows toilets is the smell and things like that.Is the working group convinced that refurbishing the toilets themselves and not dealing with the sewerage is going to deal with the problem?”

Cllr Gawrysiak said: “Yes it is. We cannot go into heavy infrastructure regarding design but the pump we have is manageable and working.”

Parks services manager Gareth Bartle said: “This is where the British Toilet Association really helps as they gave us free advice when we needed it for how to manage any ongoing smells.”

“The major issue with the smell in the gents was an open-floor drain. It has been an awful lot better since that has been changed.”

In 2010, the council was told that it would cost around £230,000 to fully refurbish the toilets.

Instead, it carried out a series of two-day deep cleans at a cost of £1,100 a time, though later admitted that this had been a waste of time and money and did not make a difference to the overall smell from the toilets.

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