Communities Needs Community Toilets in Gillet Square

Communities Needs Community Toilets in Gillet Square

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Fatou Gassama started this petition to Hackney Council (Council) and

Gillett Square has long been a centre of community in Hackney. Home to the Dalston Carnival, Parkour Club for children, Chess and Domino’s Club for the elderly, and a wide variety of businesses with a strong cultural history. The controversial development of the square promised that toilets would be built as part of the regeneration. These toilets have only been made available to customers of the businesses, leading to other users of the square using the pavement as a toilet. Conditions have become unbearable.

My name is Fatou, my daughter and I have been coming to the square for many years to enjoy the cafes and the Parkour Club but now it is no longer a place where I feel I can bring my child. In October after having enough that when attending children activities  my child was subject to seeing a man peeing in open urinals and often not considering that children were around. As a mother I had to run to  building( usually the entrance was full of people smoking and using questionable substances to take my child toilets when attending activities in the Square , Taking matter on hand we created Dalston Round Table in support of the Square and our first step was to create a petition for the urinals to be removed, the council listen to our petition and the urinal were removed in October 2020, however the council has not provided other alternative other then having to walk 15 minutes toward Ridley Market to use the public toilets which can be very tricky when you have a child asking them to wait that time and that if there is no queues. We often had to rely on business around Gillett Square but with the pandemic the business have had to make a stop to it. I have now  got together with some of the other mothers, local businesses . I wrote to the council asking them to fulfil their cleaning duties for the square. They did not even reply. 

Ange- Relive I went to enquire about the lack of toilet provisions after running a summer Friday skate block session about 4yrs ago. Local parents who wanted to use the space but was put off by this basic lack of provisions. What was also confusingly wrong was the only visible toilet available was an open urinal. As a local mother I could not believe that we were not considered. I went along to a local council meeting to raise our concerns and find answers. Every question I asked was literally brushed aside. Liked women and children didn’t matter. I wasn’t having that especially because I’d taken the time to go and engage, be a part of helping towards creating a wholesome community environment. When I saw it I wasn’t getting anywhere. I decided to find out who was responsible for putting a male only provision. After having to ask the same question 3 times before I got an answer. I was told the urinal was sponsored by a local brewery. HCD did have some toilet provisions put in place at the time which was in the form of a swipe card to their building thankfully. Regrettably the swipe card was often lost or misplaced or l felt obligated to buy from the businesses who held the key. Or that I was disturbing them when they were trying to run their business. At worst in some cases you’d have to wait until they serve customers before you could get the swipe card.

Oliver Weindling- director at Vortex Jazz Club: "Proper arrangements for toilet facilities in Gillett Square are vital to those who use the Square and its locations such as the Vortex, so that it can be clean, healthy and vibrant for all." 

Masood- Computer repairs shop in the Square- The Square desperately needs toilets that are maintained, it will be no point installing toilets without this in place in a place like Gillett Square.

Ewarts- Take Away Caribbean restaurant in the Square- We need secured toilets, this will reduce people urinating all over the place.

Fleur- Respace- Gillett Square needs public facilities to keep it safe and clean for families. It's not rocket science-and it would make such a difference to how accessible the space is for parents, children, older people who are less able.”

We, the undersigned, petition the council to:


Install toilets for communities to use  when attending community activities held in the Squareand ensure the maintenance.

Clean the square to the same standard that the rest of the Hackney area is kept to.

[Gillette square is one of the few parts of Hackney which has not been gentrified. The neglect of the last home for Hackney’s black businesses by the Council shows a disregard for the people that have lived here for generations. Hackney council should be supporting black communities, or at the very least maintain these areas to the same standard as the rest of Hackney]

 

 

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