NORTHWICH mayor Cllr Kevin Rimmer has raised questions about plans for accessible public toilets in the town centre.

Previous public toilets were built into the outdoor market building, which was ravaged by fire in January and fully demolished last month, owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council and maintained by Northwich Town Council.

Cllr Rimmer says that he has received numerous queries about plans for new toilets in the town centre and says that it is an ‘important issue’ for many residents.

And in the latest town council meeting, he called for an update as to whether any new, permanent or temporary toilet facilities are in the pipeline.

“I’ve had quite a few residents come to me to ask, and I am also part of a disability group which has asked, where we are up to with public toilets in the town centre,” Cllr Rimmer said.

“They asked whether we are going to have temporary toilets, new toilets and what the timescales involved are, as this is really important to people.”

While in agreement that toilets are an important facility to have, Cllr Mitch Rowley questioned whether it was feasible to maintain then during the current coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “With my health and safety hat on, one of the biggest challenges is not getting places open, but the logistics of them being open.

“You have many hundreds of hands and bodies using toilets and that will require a cleaning regime of our staff to go in there and clean literally after every person.

“We can all social distance at ease, but it is when we all use communal facilities that this becomes a real headache. It is a big ask.”

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Both councillors Andrew Cooper and Sam Naylor confirmed that the toilets in Asda at Barons Quay are in fact public toilets and not exclusively for supermarket customers, and that this is written into the lease of the premises.

They also added that toilets in Brio Leisure’s Memorial Court are for public use and that the issue has been raised with ‘the powers that be’ which sit on CWAC’s high street, town, and city centre commission.

Town clerk Chris Shaw stated that the issue has been raised to a town centre recovery group and that he would take these concerns back to them to try and find clarification on the progress of a suitable solution.

Following an interview last month with Cllr Richard Beacham, CWAC cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, the Guardian confirmed that new public town centre toilets are necessary if plans for food outlets at a redeveloped Weaver Square come to fruition.