Pensioner challenges Treasury minister to Berkhamsted Castle toilets debate

17-5-10. John Waller at Berkhamsted Castle, Berkhamsted.

17-5-10. John Waller at Berkhamsted Castle, Berkhamsted.

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A PENSIONER has challenged Treasury minister David Gauke to a public debate about whether toilets should be installed at Berkhamsted Castle.

John Waller, 69, of the town’s Cobb Road, has been campaigning on the issue for years.

But English Heritage, which owns the site, says toilets would be inappropriate there and too costly to install.

Mr Waller has taken the issue to South West Herts MP and Treasury minister David Gauke but says he keeps being ‘fobbed off with nonsense’.

But Mr Gauke said: “I have taken up his cause and gone to English Heritage with it, and they come back and say, ‘We do not have the money for it.’

“It’s not me that makes the decision on this and I do not particularly have a disagreement with John Waller. I have tried to help him – but he seems to think it’s somehow to do with me that there are no loos there.

“If there was widespread demand for it, I would take it up – but as far as I am aware he’s the only person concerned about it.”

Mr Waller’s campaign received a blow in 2010, when Berkhamsted Town Council said new toilets at the castle would not fit in with their historic surroundings.