Park toilets so ‘disgusting’ people do not use them and demand a refit

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

A set of public toilets in a park have been described as so “disgusting” that people are avoiding them and feel they need a full refit.

Beckenham residents have criticised the public toilets in Kelsey Park, with councillors pushing for greater accessibility for toilets across Bromley borough.

Kim Osborne, 66, lives in Shortlands and uses Kelsey Park every day to walk her dog. She said the building for the toilets in the park looks “very tired” and the facilities would benefit from a full refit.

The public toilet facilities found at Kelsey Park (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

Ms Osborne said: “I use them all the time. First thing in the morning is best because they do get cleaned so that’s when I use them if I do because they’re pretty awful as the day goes on. I wouldn’t go in the toilets later on in the day.”

Lib Dem Councillor Chloe-Jane Ross, representing the Beckenham Town & Copers Cope for Bromley Council, said the state of the toilets in Kelsey Park had declined in the past 20 years.

She said she recalled when people would come from other boroughs to visit the area, which she said was previously the “flagship park” of Bromley.

Cllr Ross said: “It’s not the standard of toilet facilities you’d expect in a really busy park. It’s not really just an issue of cleanliness, it looks like they’ve been cleaned, they’re just really dilapidated and need a full upgrade.

“This is not somewhere you want to bring your small child into or put your baby down. It just looks really rundown and like nobody’s cared for it for a long time.”

Park users said the toilets in Kelsey Park looked “very tired” (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

Cllr Ross said the park’s volunteers and the Friends of Kelsey Park group do an amazing job maintaining the space, and that more investment was needed in the facilities from the council as a whole.

Jane Davis, 58, lives in Beckenham and visits Kelsey Park every few days to walk her dog. .

Ms Davis said: “The loos here are not great. You can take the dog in, that’s useful, but they’re pretty disgusting.”

She added: “They should tidy up the loos here. They have usually got loo paper but there’s very rarely any soap and they’re not always clean.”

Conservative councillor Colin Smith, leader of Bromley council, said at the meeting on October 16 that several public toilets across the borough were in a “disgusting” state.

He added that information on the council website would be updated and officers would inspect the signage directing residents to toilets in Bromley.

Conservative councillor Yvonne Bear, cabinet member for renewal, recreation and housing, said at the meeting that public toilet facilities were currently being added to libraries in Bromley. She also said that six new accessible “Changing Places” toilets would be added across the borough as part of a £400,000 grant the authority had received.

Bromley council was approached for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.

Pictured top:  Lib Dem Councillor Chloe-Jane Ross said the toilets in Kelsey Park were in a “dilapidated” state (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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