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Visitors to refurbished seafront toilets must pay 30p to spend a penny.

The newly fitted out public toilets at West Pier Arches in Brighton were opened yesterday with an interesting take on the cutting of the red ribbon - white toilet paper was used instead.

The toilet block will have attendants throughout the summer and it will remain open until 10pm at night.

A paddle gate entry system will prevent users entering without paying although disabled people can use the facility free of charge by using a separate entrance.

It is the first time that the council has used such a system although a trial charging 20p at the seafront toilets at the bottom of West Street was carried out in 2010.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said the decision to charge follows a toilet scrutiny panel set up last year, which agreed that the council should investigate new ways of creating income to improve the service and standards of existing public toilets and to prevent closures.

Councillor Pete West, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “As we approach our busy summer season we are pleased to be able to open these newly refurbished toilets for residents and visitors.

"The 30p cost is in line with other charging toilets throughout the country, and will help pay for a full time attendant in June, July and August, when the seafront is at its busiest.”