May 20, 2020 12.14 pm This story is over 42 months old

Council leader threatens “dead air” over bank holiday coastal toilet questions

There was a dramatic on air exchange over East Coast toilets today

The leader of East Lindsey District Council has refused to say whether public toilets will be open in time for the bank holiday despite concerns over public health issues.

Councillor Craig Leyland threatened BBC Radio Presenter Sean Dunderdale with “dead air” if he kept asking about plans on the hottest day of the year so far.

Residents are concerned the town will be swamped with visitors as the government’s coronavirus lockdown relaxes, despite a new campaign by the council, the NHS and tourism bosses to try to dissuade people from coming.

There have already been reports of people urinating in public places, including around the backs of local businesses and under the pier.

When asked about plans, Mr Leyland said it would “not be in the public interest for me to announce what we’re going to do and when we’re going to do it with our facilities.”

He said there were discussions between partners, adding: “What we will do will be the right decision for us considering the interest of our residents and the interest of businesses.”

Asked again he said: “Why don’t you talk to me after the weekend and I will justify whatever decision we’ve made?”

Pushed further, he then said: “Sean you’re going to have dead air if you keep persisting on this.”

The new campaign with partners saw the launch of a video today, narrated by Colin McFarlane, looking to dissuade visitors with the message “now is not the time to come”.

The council says it does not want to put the infection of its own residents at risk, or overwhelm services in the area.

There are concerns visitors from more urban areas with higher infection rates could put the coast at risk.

East Lindsey District Council leader Craig Leyland refused to reveal what the council would do over public toilets this bank holiday weekend. Photo: Daniel Jaines

Mr Leyland said the latest total easing of restrictions on travel were “not helpful” and that they should have lined up with the gradual easing taking place across businesses.

Non-essential shops are due to open from June 1, however, hospitality and tourism venues will not be allowed to take customers again until July/August at the earliest.

Mr Leyland said: “We will welcome you another day but not today – it’s too soon.

“We would love to welcome you to Lincolnshire attractions but now is not the time to come.[0]=68.ARBPaCX1GyrI7wuBY5dewRWCZo1e9f9WUEmbJsGhP8a1hVDrcKyTOgK3HDyxsBkq8gEC8RkkQkHRA_ewkZmJhtay8TijgTGGRfOYGtnBpe45s240AsabUewegzJEd5X_AIyFGVglgAPL3qjiTdvBH4DUo5s3bN5lt4dSI0k_C0XotWyr-fMyMiIDpymvxgrs3IgESlGJDQRZBz69E804sGTvtfLofcVFTNviEPwvcgen9ZG8IEXdIjr4QvySoDvdO5oQUssRPQ-oBpT4Ld4UY99xFJ2QhciGfjDx_tk9xUsTkqkmylNgIA7PyWeQRSTrQgmSOd2WAN7vcBRS209_FzKl8v9vYQ&__tn__=-R

“Just be patient a few more weeks as the transition from government eases through June into July and August.

“It’s not long, we now you’ve been patient but please be patient for a little bit longer.”

Earlier this week, Lincolnshire Police asked ELDC to reconsider opening some of its car parks after visitors hitching up in poor locations caused social distancing issues.