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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Carlisle council forced to close park loos early after vandal attacks

Families were left unable to spend a penny in a park after vandalism forced council leaders to shut them early.

Bitts Park loos photo
The toilets

Parents with young children were annoyed when, after an evening spent enjoying the fine weather in Carlisle’s Bitts Park, they were told they were unable to use the toilets.

One mum said she took her three-year-old to the toilets, but were told they no longer opened until dusk – but instead shut up at 4pm every day.

“I was told to take my daughter to Sheepmount or the Sands Centre,” she said.

“That is too far with a toddler and a baby.”

She was not the first person to complain to Carlisle City Council about the toilets and they have come up with an alternative.

Deputy leader Elsie Martlew has spoken to some of the people about their concerns and was delighted to reveal that action has now been taken.

She said: “The Bitts Park public toilets were previously closed at 4pm each day. However in response to comments from visitors to the park, we have installed a new locking system.

“The locks are timed and allow the facilities to be open for longer hours over the summer.”

Mrs Martlew added: “We appreciate comments about our services and take action where and if we can.”

The toilet block will now remain open until dusk.

The News & Star understands that the early closing time was introduced after the toilets were vandalised on numerous occasions.

It is hoped that the new timing system will prevent further damage, but the situation will be closely monitored over the coming weeks.

There is another toilet available near the tennis courts, which is accessible for people using the courts and the new Urban Adventure high-wire attraction.

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