Ex-Olympics ambassador wants old Victorian loo reopened for 2012 Games

A campaign has been launched to buy back an old Victorian public loo sold off more than a decade ago in London’s East End and have it reopened in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Former councillor Wais Islam (pictured), who was Tower Hamlets’ council’s first Olympics ambassador, has begun a petition with families and businesses in Spitalfields fed up with late-night drinkers using their street corners as toilets.

He fears the problem will get worse when Brick Lane—official 2012 Olympics ‘curry capital’—attracts tourists from all over the world in the summer who will have nowhere to spend a penny.

“There are only two temporary toilets by the old Truman brewery which are nearly always locked,” he told The Docklands & East London Advertiser today. “The clubs and restaurants only let customers use their loos, not the public.

“We want the council to buy back the old public toilet in Commercial Street which should never have been sold off!”


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The classic structure with its wrought iron railings and steps leading to urinals beneath the pavement opposite Old Spitalfields indoor market was sold off by the council and converted into a bar.

Wais, who lost his seat two years ago, has put his hat in the ring for Labour’s selection on Sunday for a candidate to run in a possible Spitalfields by-election in May. One of the three seats in the ward is currently occupied by disgraced councillor Shelina Aktar, jailed for benefits and council tax fraud, who faces losing it if she fails to appeal by March 6.

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