We arrived back from Ramsgate to find that the public lavatory had arrived at the end of our street in Pimlico. Neighbours haven’t greeted it with enthusiasm. Aesthetically, it is all that such a thing could be-a dignified construction in what might be mistaken for stone-but there are worries about house values. Didn’t the responsibility for providing such a facility fall on the Underground station out of which those needing to use it were going to emerge?

Supporters of this view are confirmed in it by the discovery that there was already a lavatory in the station, only it’s kept locked to reduce staffing costs. Although the new structure is in place, it’s surrounded by roadworks.

The children hope that the black plastic, which at present flutters from the cornice, will be removed in a grand opening ceremony. There has been much speculation as to what form this should take; among the suggestions is a pulling of the mayoral chain.

Work on the market at the other end of the street also goes slowly: the stallholders are losing money. They would be. The last time the council repaved the market, about 15 years ago, it provided a fine cobbled surface. But whether due to the hiatus to trade or increased rents, the market itself nearly died. There’s a moral in that somewhere.

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