AS a newcomer to Salisbury, retiring to the city last June and buying a house in the city centre last December, I think I am still sufficiently enough of an ‘outsider’ to observe Salisbury from a visitor’s point of view.
I would like to draw attention to the truly dreadful state of the city’s loos.
My husband and I, after enjoying a leisurely walk around the joyful and uplifting Elizabeth Gardens, both needed to use the public toilets there (Lush House car park). What a dreadful experience this was. After having adjusted my senses to the dreadful smell of stale urine, I found only one toilet out of two was useable as the other did not have any light in it.
The other had a stubborn, sticky door which had to be prised closed.
The place was badly in need of a very deep clean – it was grubby, shabby and shameful.
The thought of changing a baby on the baby changing table was beyond imagination.
Unfortunately my criticism is not limited to these toilets.
The first toilets people encounter when arriving by coach are the ones nearest the Boat House.
These too are tired, tacky and badly in need of being brought into the 20th century.
Our lovely market square, such a joy to see now it has been refurbished and is devoid of parked cars, disappointed me when I used the toilets only to find that below ground the public conveniences were the same outdated and, frankly, past their best toilets. Surely we can do better than this? Many thousands of visitors come to the city to enjoy the many medieval treasures that Salisbury has to offer, and these toilets must give valuable tourists a poor impression.
Can we find money to update the city conveniences? Should we start asking for £1 each from city dwellers to pay for new loos?
Ann Horwood, Salisbury
I WOULD imagine that people are fed up with hearing about it, but I would like to say that, as a person who never went to the market in Salisbury because it always looked so crowded and untidy, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked through on Saturday - a much better experience.
I would, however, just mention that the toilets do look very spartan and it would look better if the rubbish bins were enclosed behind a screen of some kind, but in general it all looks very good and welcoming to visitors.
Richard Varney, Salisbury
I ENTERED the male toilets at Lush House car park on the afternoon of Saturday, May 3 and was shocked at their state. I don't think I have been anywhere so bad.
The toilets appear to be completely unventilated and the smell was abominable. The air was so "thick" in there it was impossible to breathe.
The place felt dirty and in need of a high-pressure hosing down - walls, floor and ceiling.
The day was not hot and I shudder to think what it is like in there during a hot day. I have no doubt that the place is a serious public health hazard.
The sign outside says that Salisbury City Council is maintaining these toilet facilities. Well, they are quite clearly not doing so. Given that it has public health responsibilities for the people of this city, it needs to do something urgently.
My partner went into the ladies toilet and it was no better.
Stephen Mangan, London