The toilet block that’s causing a right stink for town council

The toilets, in Station Road, St Ives.

The toilets, in Station Road, St Ives. - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town Council has spent almost £60,000 trying to get rid of unpleasant smells from public toilets.

Located at the bus stop in Station Road, the toilets have been a problem since the council took them over five years ago, despite repeated efforts to eliminate the smell.

Alison Melnyczuk, town clerk, said: “We cannot fix it once and for all and we are doing what we can, as and when we can. We have done so much and tried so many different ways to solve the issue.

“Viably, there is not much else we can do, other than knocking the building down or closing them. People didn’t want them to close, though.”

The council has already spent £27,000 from April 1 2015 to the end of January 2016, as well as £31,500 on the problem between April 1 2014 and March 31 2015.

These figures exclude overheads and staff time.

The toilets have not only been deep cleaned, but also had their tiling sealed, wastepipes replaced, other pipe work investigated, and even CCTV cameras installed in an attempt to track down the smell.

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Ms Melnyczuk added: “It is a worry for the town council and if we could make them smell like a bed of roses then we would. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make the smell go away.”

Such was the worry that Councillor Peter Smith, chairman of council’s amenities committee, addressed the problem in this month’s issue of the town council magazine, The Bridge.

He said: “The smell is strongest on the men’s side and has defied all attempts to identify its source.

“At the time of writing improvements are being made to the air fresheners. The council would like to reassure those who use the facilities that we will continue to make every effort to improve the situation and make our public toilets once again a convenient, pleasant and valuable asset for the town.”