A TRADER says the time it is taking to fix city centre public toilets is “an absolute disgrace”.

David Sewell, 58, has been running the Pavilion Gardens Cafe in New Road, Brighton, since 1985.

The chairman of the North Laine Traders’ Association said he has been trying to push Brighton and Hove City council to refurbish and open the Princes Place loos in the gardens for about four years.

The council is apologising for the delay which it says is partly due to the weather.

Mr Sewell said: “The public in Brighton will really suffer when the weather starts getting better, which is already happening.

“People will quite literally be p***ing in the wind this summer because of the crowds that flock to the city at that time of year.

“We are soon to open again for business and the lack of access to those toilets is really going to affect us.

“People won’t want to sit here and have a cup of tea if there isn’t a toilet close by. It’s a complete nightmare for us.”

He explained the only functioning toilets close by are the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal Pavilion, all only available for paying customers.

Mr Sewell said while he was aware money cuts are an issue, the council “promised” these toilets were to be “the first to be refurbished in the city”.

He said: “I am aware a tree fell down on the roof towards to end of last year, but why should that delay things while they are meant to be refurbishing the toilets anyway.

“It’s not like they had already started the work on them.

“They just seem to be delaying it and delaying it and delaying it.

“I was told work would start on February 4 and I haven’t seen anything yet.

“It really affects my business and it will do again when we open in March this year.

“Last year people just climbed over the fence and went in the gardens near the cafe.

“I suffered when I had to sort out the outside every morning.”

A council spokesman said: “The damage to the roof is taking longer than expected to repair, with the timeline also being affected by the recent snow and heavy rain.

“The contractors are doing everything they can to complete the work as soon as possible.

“We apologise for the

inconvenience the closure is causing.”