The landlady of a Polegate pub said she will not be part of a scheme which would see her toilet open to the wider public for fear it will lead to drug users using the facility.
Tara Whyte is worried about the problems that could be caused if she agreed to let the Dinkum toilets be open to everybody, following evidence of possible drug use at the public facility in the High Street nearby.
Her fears centre around a review which is underway of all public toilets across the district and plans to look at introducing a Community Toilet Scheme, where businesses provide such facilities instead.
“If this happens then the public toilets in the town’s High Street would close.
But Miss White says she would not be willing for the pub toilets to become part of such a scheme, adding, “A worker was unblocking the public toilets.
He said they were blocked because of needles and razor blades.
“If someone is in a wheelchair or people are driving a long distance then I wouldn’t have a problem with them using the toilet but with drugs someone could arrange to meet here for a deal at a specific time as they would be unable to use the public toilets if they close.
“This is a no tolerance drug zone.
“If anyone was to be caught with drugs they would get barred.”
Concerns have been mounting over the future of the public toilets. Councillor Daniel Shing said he was worried that it would be difficult to find businesses in the town that offer both female and male toilets and disabled access.
Councillor Rowena Moore, Waste Management Portfolio Holder, said, “Whilst I respect the landlady’s position and applaud her zero tolerance approach to drug abuse, setting up a community toilet scheme in Polegate will actually help stamp out anti-social behaviour and drug taking by virtue of the toilet being on managed premises.
“There have been no issues at any of the community toilet scheme premises we have in place in other towns and parishes across Wealden.
“The issues raised tend to be associated with unmanned public toilets.
“We will continue working to find a suitable partner for a community toilet scheme in Polegate.”