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Toilets Closing Over Concerns for Public Safety

Selected toilets in Totnes are to temporarily close at Christmas due to concerns over public safety

The toilets at Coronation Road, Steamer Quay and the Civic Hall are recommended for temporary closure due to continued drug use and discarded drug equipment left by a minority of users in the town. 

The toilets will close from Wednesday 20 December until after the New Year, however the Civic Hall toilets will be opened temporarily on the following December dates: Sunday 17, Thursday 21, Friday 22, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 December to allow for busy Christmas shopping.

Working together the Council, Police and drug support agencies have offered relevant support and looked to enforcement where necessary. Despite this, there continues to be a significant issue with discarded needles and other associated drug equipment. This poses a very real risk to both members of the public and the people the council employ to clean the toilets. One of the biggest concerns is around needle stick injuries from a cast-off or hidden needle to anyone making use of the toilet, but in particular the risk to a curious child. All of the support and preventative approaches will continue and enforcement action will be increased for frequent offenders.

Cllr Rufus Gilbert, South Hams District Council's Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services said: "It is extremely frustrating and disappointing that a small number of drug users in the town will be disrupting the use of the public facilities over Christmas, however public safety has to remain our main concern.  We will however open the toilets for public use for short periods of time, when we know the town will be at its busiest due to Christmas shopping.

"We will continue to take a partnership approach with the police and other agencies, to ensure the safety of members of the public, our staff, and that of the drug users themselves.  We appreciate your support on this matter."

The closures will be reviewed again by the council in January.