DISABLED mourners have been missing funerals at a cemetery for years since their toilets were vandalised.

The toilet block at Hove Jewish Cemetery in Old Shoreham Road was left fire-scarred and unusable after a “wanton act of vandalism” in 2012.

It has been boarded up for seven years.

But on Tuesday, city councillors, surveyors, and synagogue members met to prise open the sealed door and work out how to refurbish the lavatory.

They want to transform the derelict building into an accessible toilet.

As they peered past a mat of cobwebs and smashed toilet bowls, the group heard how, for years, some mourners have not been able to bid farewell to loved ones.

Sandra Walker, president of Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue said: “My husband is absolutely mortified.

“Because he’s in a wheelchair he’s effectively disbarred from funerals at the cemetery. The nearest toilets are three quarters of a mile away, over a busy dual carriageway. It’s too dangerous and too far for him to travel in the wheelchair.

“When you’re elderly or disabled, something as simple as knowing there’s a toilet at hand can make a massive difference.

“My husband has had to miss family and friends’ funerals just because there isn’t a toilet,” she said.

Hove cemetery serves half Brighton and Hove’s Jewish population.

Having access to a toilet block is especially important at Jewish funerals, as synagogue trustee Michael Austin explained. He said: “Compared to a Christian funeral, we spend a lot more time outside and at the graveside. The body is not permitted in the synagogue, so the service takes place at the cemetery. Mourners will often spend over an hour there, before returning the next year.

“We come back for the stone setting where the headstone is laid at a service for the family. Many mourners are elderly themselves and travel long distances. It’s vital there’s a toilet for them.”

City councillor Anne Pissaridou is backing the synagogue members. She said: “I’m a can-do councillor. I want to see these plans take shape because at the moment, this isn’t good enough.

“We’ll need a survey and a full costing first, but I’m in favour of this and I want to make it a reality.”

The synagogue has offered £5,000 towards the refurbishment, which councillors estimate will cost more than £20,000.

Hove cemetery houses non-orthodox Jewish, Coptic Christian, Muslim, and Baha’i remains, including graves looked after by the War Graves Commission. The synagogue said the proposed disabled cubicle will be open to everyone.