Thanet council has shut the public toilets at Cavendish Street in Ramsgate due to continued anti-social and criminal behaviour.
The toilets have been targeted by vandals and the toilets team has worked hard to make repairs and keep them serviceable. In January 2022, the toilets were closed for over a week in order to undertake repairs but vandalism and discarded needles sontinued to be a problem.
Meetings with the Community Safety Team have been held to explore options to address the anti-social and criminal behaviour. However, Thanet council says there are currently no affordable solutions to address the longstanding and regular problem.
The closest alternative public toilets (including a radar key operated accessible toilet) are at Pier Yard and Screaming Alley which are open all year round from 8am to 6.30pm.
Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Youth Engagement said; “The decision to close the Cavendish Street toilets has not been taken lightly and reflects the need to protect the public and our staff from the effects of unacceptable behaviour in the toilets.
“This includes leaving items such as discarded but concealed hypodermic needles and blood and other bodily fluids on surfaces including the walls and wash basins.
“Closing this toilet facility is not a cost saving exercise. In fact, it will have a negligible impact on the cost of delivering the service. It’s about protecting members of the public and our staff who have suffered abuse, aggressive behaviour and intimidation from some toilet users and, on occasion, have had to leave the site quickly for their own safety.
“Funding has been granted for the installation of additional CCTV at several locations throughout Ramsgate town centre, including at a number of alleyways and cut throughs including the passage between Leopold Street and York Street.
“These works are scheduled to take place between March and May 2022. This investment will help to discourage the displacement of this antisocial behaviour to other nearby locations but it will not mitigate the issues at Cavendish Street and will not therefore influence the closure.”