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Vandals leave Abingdon public toilet users frustrated – and council picking up repair bill

Vandals have left people in Abingdon unable to spend a penny as they damaged the town’s public toilets.

Vale of White Horse District Council has been left picking up the bill as anti-social behaviour has led to windows and doors at two of the town’s facilities being damaged.

And even more frustratingly for all, the global supply crisis has meant sourcing replacements for the broken parts at have been delayed, leaving residents and visitors alike unable to use the public lavatories at Hales Meadow and Abbey Meadows.

Cllr Helen Pighills, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities and Abingdon Abbey Northcourt ward councillor, said: “People are rightly frustrated that the mindless acts of destruction by a few has meant these facilities have had to close.

“At a time when council budgets are tight, the extra cash needed for repairs is an unwanted bill, compounded by the delays we are experiencing like the rest of the country in getting the necessary parts to make repairs.”

Vandals damaged the door at the facilities in Hales Meadow, resulting in a £2,500 bill for a replacement that was delayed due to the shortage of semi-conductors – the same issue that is seeing people having to wait much longer for new cars and other products that use the chips. The repairs have now been completed and the toilets are reopened.

At Abbey Meadows, windows were installed in the public toilet door to provide natural light and save energy by not requiring an electric light during the daytime. Sadly, not only were the windows broken, but also the bracket.

Again this caused a repair bill and delays in repairing while new parts were ordered. Sadly, it has also resulted in glass windows no longer being installed on toilet doors due to the risk of vandalism. In a separate incident, the radar key sensor was destroyed, meaning the Space for Change toilet will have to remain closed until at least April 26 while a replacement is sourced.

The vandalism incidents have been reported to Thames Valley Police.

Separately, there are ongoing issues at Charter Car Park public toilets in Abingdon and it is hoped these will be addressed as part of the planned regeneration of the town centre.