Town councillor’s mission to remove the inconvenience from public convenience

Olympian Louis Smith

Dr Alan Bullion who represents Labour at South Borough Town Council, has been forced to walk with a stick for the last year, which has led the former journalist to notice the lack of public facilities in the town centre.

“Tunbridge Wells is a very busy town, but from the south of Calverley Gardens to the end of the Pantiles, it is a public toilet desert,” Dr Bullion, told the Times.

“There is no obligation for local authorities to provide toilets, unfortunately. Due to a lack of funding, increasingly they are relying on pubs and cafes, and not everyone is confident about going into a pub, and not all of them are disability friendly.

“All toilets in theory should be disability compliant. However, often, they say: ‘It’s an old building. We can’t fit them.’ It’s very difficult to enforce.”

Stairs were a particular problem for people with mobility problems, or those with a small child in a pushchair, he said, adding that businesses were not always happy to have non-customers using their facilities.

But he praised for the Duke of York pub on The Pantiles, which he said he had visited in the past and found the toilet inaccessible.

“Now they have put in an accessible loo on the ground floor – not upstairs!”


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