Durham County Council have asked leisure centre staff to give access to toilets after Lib Dem intervention.
A 78 year-old local resident with “waterworks” problems needed the toilet whilst out shopping. He popped in to the Labour-run council’s leisure facility and was refused toilet access.
Local councillor Michael Stead says, “When this resident contacted me I was shocked at this loo-dicrous decision. Years ago the Council got rid of our public toilets and pointed people to the leisure centre.
“To refuse someone elderly, with a health condition, permission to use the loo in an emergency was simply unacceptable.“
Michael contacted his Lib Dem county councillor colleagues, and after they intervened the Council’s Covid policy was scrapped.
Lib Dem Michael says, “I don’t think anyone can under-estimate just how uncomfortable it can be for anyone who suddenly gets caught short.
“I’m pleased the council has listened and applied some common sense.”
The elderly resident who was turned away was helped by a local shop manager on the high street who, following Covid rules allowed the resident to use their toilet.
Cllr Stead adds, “Sometimes it does feel a bit like the world has gone mad. All credit to the hero who helped out, using common sense and compassion.”
Covid case rates in County Durham are changing rapidly. One week we may see a significant fall, the next a sudden surge. What is absolutely clear is that everyone in our county needs to follow the rules and if possible go further.
Our sympathies go out to everyone struggling through these difficult times. If you need help and haven’t been able to find it online or in the community, please get in touch with us and we will do all we can to find you assistance.
The North East is now in full lockdown and details of what can and can’t be done can be seen here:
There is a Dashboard where you can see the current rates for your part of the County. The areas are broken down based on Middle Super Output Areas. These are geographical areas based on a population of around 7000, and are not based on electoral divisions or specific towns or villages. The rates shown are around a week out of date.
The Dashboard also shows other data including the number of deaths in the County and specifically deaths in Care Homes.
Lib Dem County Councillors Mark Wilkes, Amanda Hopgood and Mamie Simmons are working to provide a new site for allotments between Framwellgate Moor and Aykley Heads.
Cllr Mark Wilkes says, “We have identified a site, started the work to secure funding and asked the County Council’s legal department to carry out the work needed so that the land can be leased to the local Parish Council.
We hope to have the site operational in the Spring of 2021, however we are very much dependent on the County Council doing its part quickly.
If anyone is interested in taking one of the allotments they can notify their local county councillors. A formal waiting list and decision on how allotments will be allocated will only be confirmed once the formal legal issues are dealt with.
Cllr Amanda Hopgood comments, “We have always had waiting lists in our area for allotments and have fewer plots than most other parts of County Durham. We hope that once we have this site up and running, the waiting time will fall considerably in our area.”