Peterborough can boast the UK’s best toilet attendant after she wiped the floor with opponents at an awards ceremony recently.
Zenny Smith received a huge trophy after triumphing in the Loo of the Year Awards which were held in Solihull on Friday (5 December).
Zenny works at Peterborough city market which was also recognised for the sparkling state of its bathrooms by judges.
Zenny’s success adds to the many things Peterborough can now brag about. It likes to see itself as the environment capital of the UK, it has a fine cathedral, famous sons such as Louis Smith and Warwick Davis and of course the mighty Posh.
It may not be quite what the city council had in mind when it launched its ‘Keep it clean’ campaign, but thanks to the work of 56-year-old Zenny, visitors to the Northminster toilets at the City Market are guaranteed a pleasant experience when taking a comfort break.
The awards are run by the British Toilet Association who send judges, unannounced, to visit public toilets and assess them on specific criteria which include signage and decor, fixtures and fittings, and overall standards of cleanliness and management.
Last Friday’s ceremony saw wins for well-established companies such as Asda, McDonald’s and JD Wetherspoon, as well as for Zenny who began her job in 2008 after previously working as a cleaner.
The attendant from Orton Malborne was understandably delighted to come out on top and wanted to pay tribute to all the other attendants at the city market who had helped keep the toilets clean.
She said: “I do my best cleaning the toilets and do it for the public. I’m proud to get the trophy for the best attendant in the UK.
“I enjoy my work, doing the best job that I can and making people happy. I’m very happy to win and surprised as well. I keep looking at the trophy.
“I’m always cleaning, every part of the bathroom. I enjoy all parts of my job, even when it’s cold.”
Zenny’s victory was part of the wider success at the awards for Amey who are contracted by the council.
The Northminster Public Conveniences, by the city market, achieved the highest possible accolade – a platinum award.
A gold award also went to the Car Haven Public Conveniences, in St Peter’s Road.
Councillor Gavin Elsey, cabinet member for street scene, waste management and communications at the council, said: “We often say Peterborough is a great place to be, we can now rightly boast we’re also a great place to pee.”
Peterborough City Market is located in the area bounded by Northminster (the main entrance), Laxton Square, Cattle Market Road and Market Way.
It is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8.30am to 4pm.
Ornelo Di Miranda, area cleaning supervisor for Amey, said it was not uncommon for Zenny to find phones and purses as part of her job.
He also had nothing but praise for the work which she does at the city market and added that she is always checking everything as part of her job.
He said: “She’s very capable at doing her job. She knows how to talk to the public, how to greet them. We are very proud of her and very happy.
“We get compliments from the public. When they come they say things are very tidy. They do not mind paying for the toilet.”
Melissa Shaw, head of service management for Amey in Peterborough, said: “I am delighted that we have won these awards for a seventh time and especially pleased that Zenny has had her hard work recognised.
“Thanks to her commitment and dedication, and that of all our employees, we have also received the highly prized platinum award for another year.”