Queens Square traders say: ‘Bring back toilets’

Queens Square, Adeyfield, Hemel Hempstead.
Queens Square, Adeyfield, Hemel Hempstead.

TRADERS in Queens Square have called for the reopening of public toilets in Adeyfield.

Businesses complain of a steady stream of people asking to use their loos because of the lack of public facilities serving the shops and Reith Fields.

The toilets were closed as part of a cuts programme in 2009 that saw 11 of the borough’s 19 public toilets axed.

Sarah Taylor, of Bluebells Florist, said people were not welcome in their loo.

“We’re a florist, not a public toilet,” she said.

“They could be dodgy. You don’t know what they’re going to do when they get in there.

“They should reopen the public toilets. If they don’t reopen them they’ll just sit there, so what’s the point?”

Barkers Fish and Chips said parents with young children regularly came in to ask where the loos were.

“It’s mainly small children,” said boss Michael Cox. “The parents come in and ask where the toilets are. We just send them to the pub.

“They need some toilets. You would think they would have some.”

Council chiefs have controversially gone back on a pledge to reopen the toilets, made last year after it was acknowledged closing facilities in Adeyfield and Leverstock Green had been ‘unwise’.

While toilets at Leverstock Green will reopen once the power supply has been connected, in Adeyfield it has been decided to spruce up loos in the community centre and make them available to the public.

Auto spares store Motorway Belts said an average of one person a week popped in to ask to use the loo.

Manager Darren Leppard said: “We have one regular old boy who comes in from time to time. I would not say it bothers us. I suppose it would be a good idea to have it open again.”

Shop assistant Robin Fleming said: “At the end of the day if they don’t reopen the toilets and you’ve got a lot of drunks coming home, where are they going to urinate?”

Mark Underwood, boss of Woods Hardware, said people were welcome to use their facilities. “I have no problem with them using the toilets,” he said.

His friend Pat Murphy, who helps out at the store, said: “I think most of the shopholders would say they have to open the toilets. Kids need to go for a wee – where are they going to go?

“Why did they shut them down? If you get caught short there’s nowhere.”

Mr Murphy said parking was also an issue in the square, particularly motorists blocking the dropped kerbs used by wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs.

Dacorum Borough Council spokesman Katie Warner said: “Once the Gadebridge toilets were vandalised, that sparked a review of the level of refurbishment at others.”

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