Mindless vandals have trashed Clitheroe’s showpiece award winning toilets.
And now the well used facilities will be closed three hours earlier than normal during the week in a bid to stop the incident happening again.
News that the loos will be shut at 4pm instead of 7pm as the park approaches the summer months and its busiest time, has left regular users fuming. The park and toilets are visited by thousands of visitors every year so the vandalism is a shock to the community. Young mum Amanda Aspinall, who regularly visits the park with her 15-month-old daughter Charlotte Aspinall-Berry, said: “Lots of families come here in the summer with picnics and barbecues so this will affect them having no conveniences especially with small children.
“It could stop people from coming to the town and could affect its trade also.”
Another resident, who takes her children aged four and six to the park almost daily, said: “We go after school and sometimes stay a couple of hours.
“Imagine being there with small children without any loo facilities? It is disgraceful that this has to happen because of these thoughtless vandals. Everyone else has to suffer.”
Wet paper and cardboard was strewn across the walls and ceilings and the floor was left caked in mud at the Clitheroe Castle Field toilets which were refurbished to the tune of £30,000 two years ago.
One mum, who regularly takes her nine-year-old daughter to the park, added: “This is just a disrespectful and immature thing to do.
“The park is well used and so are these facilities and it such a shame that someone thinks they have the right to do this.”
The loo block was given a facelift in 2014, the same year the facility was named the best in Lancashire for the sixth year running.
New baby changing facilities were installed in both the ladies and gents toilets along with re-cycled light fittings, water efficient and motion-controlled flushing mechanisms and energy efficient hand-dryers. The block was also newly tiled with new internal and external doors. The large clock on the front of the toilet block, much loved by residents and visitors, was also given a spruce up.
The park and toilets are visited by thousands of visitors every year so the vandalism is a shock to the community.
Fortunately no damage was caused to the fixtures and fittings in the toilets but wet newspapers had been flung across the floor. The toilets have now been cleaned up and re-opened but will now close at 4pm during weekdays.
A spokesman for Ribble Valley Council said: “We recently refurbished the toilets to provide high quality, clean and safe facilities for parents and children visiting the park.
“It is very disappointing that a minority seems to want to spoil things for everyone else. We are taking this incident very seriously and have spoken to the police with a view to catching the culprits and taking appropriate action including recovering the cost of the clean up operation.”