Security gates set to be installed outside wedding venue to stop people urinating against it

Gates are set to be installed outside Walsall's civic centre to stop people urinating against it. Walsall Council has put forward a proposal to introduce the security measures in front of the steps to the entrance of the facility, which is to be a key access point for people getting married and registering births and deaths.

A spokesperson for the authority said they had encountered issues of people using the Darwall Street entrance as a toilet. The gates are part of wider measures to refurbish the venue and provide a more "professional and welcoming" entrance.

It previously served as the access to the 'one stop shop' for people wanting council services until that facility was moved to the Lichfield Street 'hub' in the nearby library building. A Walsall Council spokesperson said "We have encountered ongoing issues with individuals using the area as a public toilet, which has necessitated frequent bleaching and caused damage to the tile grouting.

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"This area will be a critical access point for individuals getting married and registering births and deaths, making it essential to maintain it as a clean, hygienic, and safe entrance. The cost of installing gates is not currently known, as it is part of a larger project within the civic centre complex.

"However, the gates will significantly enhance the overall appearance and ensure that the registry office presents a professional and welcoming entrance, in line with the newly refurbished interior. There is also a new toilet block, situated in Saddlers Shopping Centre, which consists of a Changing Places (CP) facility, two parent and child facilities and two gender-neutral accessible facilities.

"The CP toilets provide sanitary provision for anyone with multiple and complex disabilities and has been done to help support disabled people, and their assistants, to be able to stay out for longer and participate in more activities." When asked if homeless people have been using the entrance area, the spokesperson added: "We can confirm there are no rough sleepers in this location due to the package of support available in Walsall.

"The Council’s Homelessness Outreach Team undertake regular ‘night counts’ where they proactively search for individuals sleeping rough. That team also undertake daily outreach support, which commences very early in the morning every-day Monday to Friday. The area is also covered by the Council’s CCTV.

"At this time, the Council is unaware of anyone who is sleeping rough in that location." Walsall Council planning officers are expected to make a decision on the application next month.

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