Upton Park campaigners attack council’s loo plan

PUBLISHED: 16:00 30 March 2017

A campaigner from Queen's Market petitioning against the possible closure of public toilets near the site.

A campaigner from Queen's Market petitioning against the possible closure of public toilets near the site.

Copyright@2015 Abdul Shakoor

Campaigners chanted “Don’t lose the loos” while petitioning against the possible closure of public toilets.

The Hamara Ghar toilets face possible closure along with four other public lavatories. The Hamara Ghar toilets face possible closure along with four other public lavatories.

Saturday’s action in Green Street by the Friends of Queen’s Market saw more than 100 people sign a petition calling on Newham Council to think again about a proposal to close the loos near the Hamara Ghar building.

Activist Abdul Shakoor said: “Nobody we spoke to knew about the proposed closure. It’s important people have their say so that’s why we are out talking to them.”

Newham Council has carried out a public consultation on proposals to shut five public toilets in the borough - including the Hamara Ghar loos - with a plan for shops, businesses and public buildings to open their loo doors to passersby instead.

But campaigners claim there were 50,000 visits to the Queen’s Market public conveniences last year justifying their demands for the lavatories to remain open.

Friends of Queen’s Market chair Sasha Laurel said: “Public loos came to London in 1851. The council want to set us back two hundred years. It’s not on. The people who objected are just the tip of the iceberg.”

Shopper David Elsom added: “We have no details of where these community toilets will be or their hours of opening. Surely the council doesn’t expect shopkeepers to open their toilets to all and sundry and do the work the council should do,”

In response, a council spokeswoman confirmed the petition had been received and would be considered along with feedback gained through the consultation which ended on March 27.

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