Haslemere's mayor has condemned the abuse that has been directed at council officers over the Lion Green toilets saga.
The much-maligned toilet block has faced a series of delays after a builder's gaff resulted in it being built in the wrong place this spring.
Work has now restarted on site after supplier "issues" exacerbated by material shortages.
But the calamitous works have attracted plenty of criticism from residents and businesses living and working close to the unfinished facility.
In a letter published in full below, town mayor Jerome Davidson says he understands people’s frustration at the “sorry story” of the public loos.
But he adds he is “deeply saddened by the behaviour of some in our community who have aired their feelings to the town council in such an uncivil manner,” citing a flurry of abusive emails.
Mayor of Haslemere, Councillor Jerome Davidson's letter in full
The installation of the public toilets on Lion Green has been a sorry story and I fully understand the frustration many feel that this project has not completed smoothly.
I am deeply saddened, however, by the behaviour of some in our community who have aired their feelings to the town council in such an uncivil manner, with its officers receiving abusive emails, and misinformation being circulated on social media. This is a shameful way to engage in public discourse.
The need for public toilet facilities at this end of the town was recognised by the last administration and fulfilling that need had the unanimous support of the council.
The chosen supplier, one of the country’s largest which had been recommended by other councils we contacted, has not served us well: foundations were initially not laid in the location specified, and supply delays and staffing issues impacted negatively upon the contractor's ability to comply with timely completion.
These are all matters that fell outside of the control of the town council.
Chasing the supplier to complete the job has been an uphill struggle. Our officers continue actively to push the supplier but their efforts are not helped by receiving misguided comments on their ability to do so. This must stop.
The town council strives to work in a transparent way, questions and challenge from the community is always welcome, but we expect this to be done in a civil and respectful way.
I hope that going forward, Haslemere as a community can do better in that respect. Cllr Jerome Davidson
Mayor of Haslemere