Fire crews were called to douse flames after a shed caught fire in South Ashford at 3am on Monday this week. Two engines were sent to Watercress Lane where there are a group of a dozen sheds, though only one caught fire. A fire brigade spokesman said the shed door was open when they arrived, and it is not known what caused the blaze. An Ashford grandfather has slammed the decision by Ashford Borough Council to close the public toilets in the Vicarage Lane car park by the end of July.
The move comes as local businesses will be offered money to allow the public to use their facilities as part of a “community toilet scheme”. The council are also reviewing the future of the New Rents toilets in the town centre.
George Galdies, 80, of South Ashford parks in the Vicarage Lane car park four to five times a week and has to use the council-owned toilets often as he takes water tablets.
Mr Galdies said: “It’s disgusting this is happening.
“The public are paying for these toilets and getting nothing in return.”
Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has cited vandalism and anti-social behaviour as one of the reasons for the closure of the Vicarage Lane toilets closure - something Mr Galdies disagrees with.
He said: “The council is lying through their nose when they say the toilets are vandalised. They are filthy, but rarely do they suffer from vandalism. When you have to go you have to go.”
Under alternative arrangements, ABC says t hat in exchange for opening their toilets to the public, shops, cafes and restaurants will be paid a small annual fee. Residents will see which businesses allow them to use their toilets with a sticker on the front window.
Details of where the nearest loos are located will be temporarily displayed at existing public toilets.
An ABC spokesman said: “The Community Toilet Scheme will offer safe, clean and pleasant toilets in the heart of the town centre and many of the facilities will exceed the opening hours of the existing public toilets.
“At present the public toilets in New Rents and Vicarage Lane close at 5pm, whereas facilities in the community toilet scheme will remain open until much later in the evening.”
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George Galdies is angry at proposals to shut the Vicarage Lane public toilets