Blackpool's Stanley Park praised - but 'disgusting' toilets slammed

A mum has blasted the state of the ladies' public toilets at Blackpool's Stanley Park, labelling them 'disgusting'.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 8:22 am
Sandra Rowe with her daughter Francise Rowe (3) outside the toilets in Stanley Park which she called disgusting. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Sandra Rowe, 41, says the facilities were so bad that neither she nor her family members could use them.

Grade II-listed Stanley Park, opened in 1926, has been described as one of the jewels in Blackpool's crown, with its much-loved flower gardens, expansive boating lake with swans and ducks, its lush canopy of trees, famous domed bandstand and art deco café.

Blackpool Council has added an acclaimed BMX track and a skate park, while the park's play area is popular with families.

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Mess on the floor in one cubicle

But Sandra says the toilets badly let things down .

Blackpool Council insists the amenities are cleaned twice a day by contractors Danfo and says vandals are to blame for the state of the toilets, despite efforts to keep them clean.

Mum-of-five Sandra, of Ullswater Crescent, Thornton, said: "We visited Stanley Park on Sunday and I was absolutely disgusted at the toilet facilities I had to take our children to.

"I have honestly never seen something so vile and disgusting in my life.

Another of the toilets

"The cubicles had no locks, one toilet had no seat and all four cubicles were completely unusable as they were full to the brim with tissue, urine, blood and poo.

"The floor was a swimming in the worst smelling liquid I have ever smelt that actually made my sister in law wretch. The men's toilets were almost as bad,

"It isn't the first time we have visited the park and been unable to use the facilities and apparently people have complained again and again about the state of the loos and nothing gets done."

Sandra, who was at the park with husband Anthony, three of their children, her parents-in-law and sister-in-law with her two children, took several photographs of the filthy cubicles.

She added: "It is a shame, because we love going to Stanley Park, I was there with several members of my family and we'd spent nearly four hours there and had a great time.

"But just before we left we visited the toilets.

"It just isn't acceptable to have such vile toilets at a top visitor attraction."

John Blackledge, Blackpool Council Director for Community and Environmental Services, said: “Unfortunately we have experienced some vandalism with general mess created by individuals who do not appear to have any respect for the facilities that are provided for our residents and visitors who love the park so much.

“Our contractors clean the facilities in the morning and evening but it is so sad when others go in and show such lack of respect and consideration for others.

"We are considering our options in trying to resolve these types of problems and behaviours.”

Nigel Patterson, chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park, said: "The toilets have been subjected to extensive vandalism across the summer months and it has been a real task to keep on top of it.

"On behalf of the Friends I have discussed the cleanliness of the toilets with the council and they are introducing an action plan to enable them to be kept cleaner.

"It will take two or three weeks for this and they need time to put this in place.

"The Friends have just reopened the visitor centre and we will now be able to monitor things more closely.

"We understand it has been a very testing time for the council and they are doing a good job in overseeing a public facility like the park."