Disabled veteran’s fight to keep Waterlooville cemetery toilets accessible after bolt is added to cubicle door

A VETERAN from Havant and his daughter have spoken out about a nine-year battle to keep cemetery toilets accessible.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 12:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 11:14 am
The toilet block at Waterlooville Cemetery. Picture: Emily Turner

The 94-year-old man says that he often cannot use the disabled toilet at Waterlooville cemetery after a bolt was added - but this is only one of a number of issues he has faced over the years.

He and his daughter have contacted those who are responsible for the site, but they say that issues persist.

His daughter said: ‘It’s been going on for a number of years and nothing seems to be done.

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The disabled cubicle has been the focus of a 'nine year' battle for accessibility. Picture: Emily Turner

‘It’s like banging your head on the wall, nobody seems to go up there and look at it.’

Recently the disabled toilets were fitted with a Brenton bolt on the outside, meaning that the toilets are sometimes locked and cannot be opened.

There is also the usual Radar key lock to access the toilet.

The bolt attached to the outside of the door. Picture: Emily Turner

The veteran, who is disabled, has spent the last 44 years visiting Waterlooville cemetery, travelling from his Havant home each Monday to keep an eye on the site.

He said: ‘I visit the cemetery each week where my wife and son are buried, and need to “spend a penny” now and again”.’

The man, who served as a soldier for 25 years, says that he has written to a number of local councillors as well as MP Alan Mak.

His daughter said: ‘We’ve spent nine years trying to get something done.

‘A bolt has appeared and disappeared, it’s been left in a shocking state, a filthy, awful state before.’

After contracting Norse South East, which is responsible for maintenance of the site, the veteran and his daughter were directed to contact the council regarding the issue.

She said: ‘Havant Borough Council obviously isn’t prioritising it.

‘We’re trying to get someone to take ownership - why have these facilities if it’s unusable?’

She added that there are no grab rails inside the disabled cubicle, only a sink and toilet.

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A spokesperson for Havant Borough Council said: ‘Havant Borough Council has been working closely with Norse South East to ensure these facilities meet requirements.

‘A cleaning schedule has been revised, and refurbishment of the accessible toilet has been completed, following recent vandalism.

‘Regular inspections of these facilities will also be carried out.’

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