A TWENTY pence charge and a sharps box for needles are set to be installed at the Bath Road public toilet as Chippenham Town Council takes steps to reduce anti-social behaviour in the town and keep the toilet open.

Anti-social behaviour including drinking and drug use under the car park’s canopy has been a problem in the town for a while.

The town council will be working with Chippenham BID, Wiltshire Council, Turning Point and Wiltshire Police to tackle the behaviour through proactive policing and the new payment system, which will be put in place in the next few weeks.

“We have had some anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of Bath Road toilet in the past and we have made our councillors aware of those issues, who have agreed we should work with other agencies to put preventative measures in place,” Councillor Sandie Webb, leader of the council, said.

“We will be installing a sharps box in the toilets to prevent needles being left in a number of places and a 20p coin mechanism will also be fitted.

“We would like to reassure the general public that we are working to ensure this facility is a safe and clean place.”

New signs, which include contact information for local agencies, will be placed in the car park for people to report any issues or ask for support and advice.

The town hosts, night marshals, mobile CCTV units, outreach workers and police will also be patrolling the area to provide support to those who may need it.

Kathryn Crosweller, office manager at the Chippenham BID said: “Public toilets are a valuable resource for the town, enabling shoppers to spend longer in Chippenham.

“We are pleased to be able to work with the other agencies in the town to help keep the toilets safe and clean.

“Chippenham BID wants to see people enjoying the town without having to rush home because there aren’t enough public toilets for them to use.

“Our town hosts and night marshals visit the Bath Road car park and toilets regularly as they are an important gateway to the town and a valuable resource for the community. We are pleased to be able to work in partnership with the other agencies in the town to help keep the toilets safe and clean for the benefit of everyone who uses them.”

However, Rachel Terry, of the Citadel Hall, said time will tell if the approach is successful.

“So many people look for that toilet because it is next to the National Express bus stop and I think most people will be happy to pay a 20p charge but the homeless and the druggies probably won’t pay, so that might worsen the problem, especially if they continue to wee on our door.

“Time will tell if it works or not, but it will be good if it works.”