HOLIDAYMAKERS visiting St Ives have contacted The Cornishman to brand the town's public toilets "stinking" and "unclean".
One visitor said he would never bring his family back after having unpleasant experiences in Cornwall Council-operated public conveniences in the town centre.
Problems highlighted with just one toilet – the Lifeboat Station or West Pier toilets – include dirty nappies left on surfaces, bags of waste and plastic bottles littering the floor and a number of toilets left blocked for hours.
Holidaymaker Alan Davies, from Shropshire, said he had photographic proof that staff paid to inspect the toilets were signing off on their task without actually cleaning up.
He said: "I visited the toilet near the Lifeboat Station on my own and I couldn't believe the general state of disrepair and there was a used nappy on top of the bin. When I came back later there were bags and bottles all over the place.
"But the attendant had signed to say they had inspected the toilets. I was so amazed I took a picture of it because the used nappy was still on top of the bin.
"The smell and state of the toilets was so bad a dad came in with his baby and walked straight out again. When I went outside he was changing his baby's nappy outside on the pavement."
Paula Young, from Lichfield in Staffordshire, visiting St Ives with her two young daughters, said: "You look at St Ives and it's beautiful, it's geared up for tourists, but the toilets were just disgusting.
"I took my six-year-old daughter Ellie into the toilets and she was mortified that she had to go in there.
"The toilets stank and there were clearly a couple blocked and you couldn't go near them."
A Cornwall Council spokesperson said: "We are sorry to learn of the concerns. During peak season the toilets are cleaned three times a day and our cleaners work extremely hard to keep conveniences clean and presentable.
"However, on this occasion it would appear our usual high standard has not been met and we will investigate the matter further to ensure this does not happen again."
The council said it was working with South West Water on water pressure problems which had caused problems with blocked toilets at the site.
St Ives Town Council is considering taking on the toilets after Cornwall Council said it could not maintain the service.
Mayor of St Ives Ron Tulley said: "Virtually everyone accepts that they are an important asset but also that they are not in the best state.
"If the town council takes them over we should have a much better cleaning regime than we have at the moment."