THE MAKEOVER of a toilet where 200 drug needles were found earlier this summer faces continued delays.

The public conveniences in Faringdon Road Park have been closed for around five years.

In July, the Adver reported nearby residents’ and shopkeepers’ shock after 200 discarded needles were found in the town centre park in just one day.

Many were recovered from behind the red brick toilet block.

The Mechanics Institution Trust were awarded £12,000 by environmental charity Groundwork to restore the toilet block last year. The cash came courtesy of Tesco’s 5p plastic bag charge.

The hope is to turn it into a base for the trust’s volunteer gardeners, who work on the historic Railway Village park.

But the plans have been held up over delays in the process by which the borough council can transfer assets like buildings and green spaces to community groups and parish councils.

It is feared that any further delay could put the existing funding at risk.

A source close to the discussions said: “If this doesn’t get resolved within days, it doesn’t look good for the funding.”

Daniel Rose, director of the Mechanics Institution Trust, said: “We were pleased to receive this grant.

“We want to see the toilet block refurbished and put into productive use. We hope that the council can conclude the transfer. We want the block looking better, to get it safer and get it off the council’s hands.”

At a meeting of the South Swindon Parish Council’s leisure and amenities committee this week, councillors voted to help broker the discussions between community groups looking to take the block on and current owners the borough council.

Councillor Chris Watts, chairman of the parish council, said: “The problem is they [Mechanics Institution Trust] can’t seem to get anywhere with the borough council.

“The whole thing is in limbo at the moment because we’re in discussion about assets and we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen to that asset. They [Mechanics Institution Trust] are in danger of losing that money if they don’t use it.”

He said that the renovation work could help tackle some of the reported drug issues in the park.

Earlier this year shopkeeper Paul White complained: “I saw one person injecting themselves in the stomach out in the open, groups of people going into the toilets and doing who knows what, it beggars belief.

“This is not a nice place to be at the moment. I really feel for the residents here It’s criminal.”

Councillor Mary Martin, cabinet member for communities and place at Swindon Borough Council, said: “Due to this being an operational issue I was not aware of the hold up, however, now it has been brought to my attention I will look into it and see what progress we can make.”