Bassetlaw Council has been accused of being wasteful with tax payers’ money after spending nearly £1 million on its Bridge Street market base.
Worksop residents have kicked up a stink over the ‘disgusting’ state of the public toilets in the building, which are due for a £46,000 investment after they were originally installed with domestic fittings.
The £856,000 market investment, the planned £46,000 revamp and spiralling running costs of around £21,300 a year means expenditure would break £1m over the next four years.
Complaints over cleanliness, appearance and the facilities available have lifted the lid on the council’s money shoot.
With just two cubicles in the gents - and no urinals - visitors have become accustomed to queuing out on the street, with others opting to use facilities in surrounding shops.
Worksop resident Cliff Wells from Prince Charles Street said the toilets are in desperate need of a makeover.
“It’s money down the pan, they were robbed,” said the 71-year-old.
“It’s disgusting. Never have I ever queued for a toilet in my life.
They wouldn’t have that up at the town hall, that’s for sure!”
Worksop mum Renata Kirk said she will ‘stay well clear in the future’ of the women’s, which offers three cubicles and sinks.
“They are disgusting. I had to use one as the cafe wasn’t open for my little girl. They aren’t clean enough and the smell hits you before you walk in,” she added.
The building is used to store all the market stalls, provide some centrally located toilet facilities and act as a base for the market manager.
Shane Lambie added: “What a waste of money. What world is our council living in?”
The planned refurb will see a complete redesign of the toilets after it confirmed the current fittings don’t meet the right specification to cope with the volume of use.
The council bought the former Smart Alec shop in October 2010 as part of its market project which saw traders move on to Bridge Street. The move has seen a 390 per cent increase in trade on Saturday’s market.
Newly-elected Conservative group leader, councillor Chris Wanless, visited the building in its ‘early days’.
“The toilets should be kept so they are fit for use, otherwise people will get a bad impression of Worksop,” he said.
Despite people’s disgust, the council maintain the toilets are checked every two hours by an attendant and are cleaned at the end of every day.
Leader of Bassetlaw Council Simon Greaves said there are no plans to sell the building and ‘cut their losses’ in the near future.
“It’s clear to me that the previous administration got it badly wrong when they signed off the public toilets in 73 Bridge Street in spring 2011,” he said.
“The specification is simply not high enough to cope with the demand that the market move has generated.”