A pensioner has blasted the city council over the "appalling" state of the public toilets in the city centre.

Julian Perkins addressed the Cabinet about his experience of using the disabled toilets in Market Lane, the busiest in the district.

Mr Perkins, of Hyde Gate, said on a visit there was no toilet roll which caused him difficulties.

He said: "We play host to hundreds of thousands of tourists and there is a constant stream of complaints on the major media sites about the appalling state of the disabled facilities. The disabled toilets are encrusted with filth. The only improvements in the last 13 months is a hook to hang a coat on.

"The contractor you are using is not cleaning the toilets effectively."

READ MORE HERE: Winchester public toilets set for major overhaul

Mr Perkins said he had first complained in January 2023 and questioned why refurbishment funds had been allocated but nothing has been done.

The city council is committed to spending £700,000 upgrading toilets across the district but initially Market Lane was scheduled to be the last to be upgraded.

Council leader Martin Tod said managers had apologised to Mr Perkins but he said: "I would like to apologise again for the experience you went through. It's unacceptable."

Cllr Tod said last October an extra cleaner had been taken on to solely work on the Market Lane and Abbey Gardens toilets and complaints had stopped.

Initially the refurbishment work was tendered but no firm put in a bid. That issue has been rectified and work is expected to start at the end of this month, said Cllr Tod.

The manager who oversees the cleaning has left the council and a replacement is being recruited.

Last autumn the council approved a major programme of refurbishment and improvements.

It currently operates 10 toilets across the district with another currently closed in Middle Brook Street due to chronic anti-social behaviour.

They are at: Abbey Gardens, Market Lane, Chesil Street multi-storey, South Winchester and St Catherine's Park and Ride, the Arc, Coach Park Worthy Road, Basingwell Street in Bishop's Waltham, Station Road in Alresford and in Wickham and Denmead.

The council has hired a firm to install censors to measure usage. Some toilets such as Chesil only get around 50 users a day but the Market Lane gets 900, or around 24,000 people a month.

The British Toilets Association conducted research and said the city council does not have enough toilets to meet demand.