Councillors are to launch a drive to clean up Mirfield’s blighted public toilets.
The conveniences, saved from closure by Mirfield Town Council, have become an unsavoury meeting place for people looking for sex.
The Examiner previously reported how men had been caught together in a single cubicle – but it’s not just a meeting place for gay men.
A man has been seen coming out of the ladies’ toilet and knickers and underpants have been left behind or flushed down the loo.
Used condoms, sanitary towels and soiled nappies have all been pulled from the drains.
The walls in the gents are plastered with sexually-explicit graffiti aimed at men and women with telephone numbers for those seeking sexual encounters.
As quickly as they are painted out the messages re-appear.
The toilets are looked after by town councillors David Pinder and Andrew White, on a voluntary basis, and Clr Pinder said he wanted to drive away the undesirable element and re-claim the toilets for the people who really needed them.
“We know the toilets are in an unacceptable state and we want to do something about it,” he said.
“There was a suggestion that this was a problem concerning homosexuals. Without wanting to disturb anyone’s sensibilities the graffiti which these people leave behind very explicitly suggests that they are not by any means exclusively homosexual.”
The police are keeping a watch over the toilets and Clr Pinder hopes to start the revamp soon.
Paint has been donated by a local firm and councillors have been in touch with a group of ‘graffiti artists’ who painted a mural under the bridge outside Mirfield Railway Station.
It is hoped the youths will come up with a design for the toilet walls.
Clr Pinder said the next aim was to restore the automatic flush to the urinals and order containers for sanitary towels and nappies.
Mirfield Town Council took over the toilets last year when Kirklees wanted to shut them down.
The council allocated an annual budget of £10,000 but the toilets cost just £4,379.50 in the first 12 months, accounts have revealed.
Clr Pinder said he had approached a specialist company about taking on the toilets but that may have meant a 10p or 20p charge to spend a penny, which wasn’t an option.
He added: “And if the town council started to make a charge we may become liable for business rates and the fees raised wouldn’t be enough to meet the increased costs. There are no easy solutions.”