public toilets
public toilets

Labour have criticised the Green administration for a lack of joined-up thinking and failing to consult with residents, after their plans to force through more public toilet closures at next week’s meeting of the environment, transport and sustainability committee emerged.

In October, the Council issued a corporate briefing about the rise in Covid and flu, reminding people of the need for good hygiene. The Council also says it is encouraging ‘Active Travel’ and is supportive of outdoor fitness groups, all of which are year-round activities. At the same time the Council has reduced the opening times of public toilets and failed to keep them stocked with toilet paper and soap.

Now we learn that the Green Administration plans to close some public toilets for some of the year, or even altogether, including the Preston Park chalet toilets – with the Rotunda only to be available in the summer.  Other closures are planned in parks and public spaces right across the City from Saltdean to Portslade.

There has been no consultation with other councillors, stakeholders, residents or other public users of parks and public toilets.

Labour have been making the case to keep public toilets open and called for joined-up thinking with the health & wellbeing strategy, equalities and an economy based on tourism.

The proposals will particularly disadvantage women, people with medical conditions, older people and families.

Labour have highlighted the sheer effort that volunteers have put into outdoor fitness in the City. Five parkruns are attended by over 1,200 people even on a cold, wet weekend in the winter. The social element of parkruns could be lost completely because runners won’t want to hang around if there are no toilets and Park cafes will lose business as a result.

Labour understands that the Green administration plan to railroad toilet closures through on 1st April 2023.

Labour’s joint spokesperson for Environment, Transport and Sustainability, Councillor Nancy Platts said:

“I know I speak for many residents when I express my outrage at the Council’s plans to force through more public toilet closures, without consulting anybody and with no regard for public health, our park cafes or our tourist economy.

“I recognise the seriousness of the budget situation after 12 years of Tory cuts, but surely there are other ways to make savings and residents should have been consulted first.

“This is a false economy that undermines the Council’s own public health initiatives. The plan is ill-thought through with no alternative provision near to some of the planned closures.”

Cllr Nancy Platts
Cllr Nancy Platts
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