12:00PM, Sunday 12 February 2017
Public toilets in Jennery Lane, near Burnham High Street, have finally reopened following a lengthy refurbishment.
The completed work includes a new roof, external cladding, and a complete internal refit that was funded with a donation of £20,000 from Burnham Health Promotion Trust, and through ring-fenced funds given by the developers of the Bishop Centre Retail Park, Land Securities, to support and improve the high street.
The toilets were closed for almost 11 months, as the project was dogged by technical difficulties after a dispute with the original builders led to a delay in the refurbishment, which meant an additional £23,700 was spent on the remedial work.
The council is hoping to recover those losses and its legal costs from the original contractor, and the legal case is ongoing.
The new refurbishment also incorporates a dementia-friendly colour scheme.
The toilets were taken on by Burnham Parish Council from South Bucks District Council in 2007 following a campaign against their closure led by residents and the then chairman of Burnham Health Promotion Trust, Dr Bev Daily MBE.
The toilets, along with the toilets at Burnham Park Hall, have been ‘twinned’ with toilets in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.
The scheme, organised by the Inner Wheel Club of Burnham, raises money to provide access to toilet facilities, clean water and hygiene education for those in poverty around the world.
Parish clerk, Sheridan Edward, said: “We’re very pleased and relieved to see the work finally complete, and we’d like to thank the residents and High Street shoppers of Burnham for their patience throughout the project.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous donation from Burnham Health Promotion Trust and also the fundraising work of Inner Wheel.
“Although it’s been a long wait, we hope that all will agree that the new facilities are a big improvement, and anything but bog-standard.”
Burnham resident Maureen Pierce said on Facebook said: “It’s been difficult for people with children or elderly people not to have any toilets available in the village.
“It’s good to see them open again and I just hope they are well maintained and not vandalised.”
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