Vandalism could close park toilets

UNDER ATTACK -- Friends of Bestwood Country Park member Alan Smith outside the vandalised toilets -- DISPIC NHUD12-1125-1.

UNDER ATTACK -- Friends of Bestwood Country Park member Alan Smith outside the vandalised toilets -- DISPIC NHUD12-1125-1.

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A BLOCK of toilets at Bestwood Country Park is at risk of being closed because of the spiralling costs of vandalism.

The toilets at the Arnold end of the picturesque park, off Bestwood Lodge Drive, have repeatedly suffered attacks in recent years.

When the roof was broken into, more than £6,000 had to be spent by Notts County Council in making repairs.

Other damage has included the smashing of sinks and damage to doors.

Responsibility for maintenance of the block has now transferred from the county council to Gedling Borough Council.

But within a week under Gedling’s control, walls were daubed with graffiti.

The council has now suggested that the toilets could be locked up permanently.

In a letter sent by Melvyn Cryer, manager for parks and street care at Gedling Council, he says: “The toilets can easily be vandalised because of their position near to a large neighbouring housing estate. The block is especially prone to damage during the school holidays.”

Mr Cryer adds: “The harsh economic realities of relentless vandalism must be borne in mind.”

The suggestion of closure has angered some members of the Friends of Bestwood Country Park group.

Alan Smith, of Rise Park, said: “If the toilets are closed, the building would be no use to anyone. But even if they are closed, I don’t want to see them demolished. That would be the ultimate act of vandalism,”

Gedling Council has assured members of the Friends group that any decision on the future of the toilets would only be taken by councillors after a public consultation.