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Council flush with anti-vandal ideas

Popular but vandal-prone public toilets in Carterton may get the Martinborough and Greytown treatment – complete with music.

The toilets at Carrington Park are being cleaned and repaired on a daily basis.

Carterton district councillors were told by community services and facilities manager Glenda Seville the facilities are subject to vandalism, graffiti, broken air dryers, and stolen toilet paper. She said South Wairarapa District Council’s toilets are not subject to the same problems.

Councillors agreed something had to be done, with Mayor Ron Mark noting the state of the toilets is bringing down what is a popular area.

“They bring reputational damage to Carterton when people love the park,” he said.

Mark said if the toilets were to be modernised, one option, like in Martinborough and Greytown, could include piping in music to make people stop loitering.

“If Barry Manilow is singing to you, you’ll probably want to leave earlier,” he suggested.

The mayor also brought up the psychology of toilets as a way to change behaviours and observed that people treat things as they see them. Another option he suggested was a new lick of paint.

Closing the toilets at certain times was discussed, but councillor Steve Gallon said this wouldn’t work because truck drivers use them at all hours.

Councillor Lou Newman wondered if moving the toilets away from the park is a reasonable solution, while councillor Robyn Cherry-Campbell said the vandals are ruining things for everybody else.

Recommendations for replacing or upgrading the toilets will be brought to the council.

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