‘Where do the big society volunteers go when they need the toilet?’

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THE Government has rejected a Berkhamsted Castle volunteer’s plea for toilets at the popular tourist destination.

John Waller, 67, from Cobb Road, Berkhamsted, has even written to Prince Charles, who owns the site, to ask if lavatories could be installed.

A spokesman for the prince said he would “definitely get in touch” if the Prince ever plans a visit to Herts.

But after Mr Waller wrote to his MP David Gauke, a response from Minister for Tourism and Heritage John Penrose blamed the lack of action on the “awful financial situation”.

Mr Penrose said English Heritage, who manage Berkhamsted Castle, “don’t feel they can justify installing toilet facilities which would require maintenance.”

He wrote: “There are many other similar sites in EH’s care and, as I hope Mr Waller would agree, it would be a shame to prevent the public from enjoying them simply because of this issue.”

But Mr Waller said: “Mr Gauke, you are the MP for Berkhamsted. You are our MP and you should be fighting for this.”

The castle’s visitor centre is manned by volunteers like Mr Waller.

He said: “Under Cameron’s cuts, it’s all supposed to be about the big society. Where do the big society volunteers go when they need the toilet?”

Mr Gauke told The Gazette: “I have tried to assist Mr Waller to make sure that his views are put in front of the relevant people, but so far he has not been able to persuade them.”

An English Heritage spokesman said the public sector group deals with more than 400 properties with limited funds, and said nearby toilets at Berkhamsted train station and town centre would have to suffice.