Public loo fees on the cards in Brighton and Hove

Public toilets at Brighton's West Pier were closed earlier this year

Public toilets at Brighton's West Pier were closed earlier this year

First published in News by

Charging for using public toilets could be introduced as part of wider look into the future of public loos.

As it has to make millions of pounds of budget cuts, Brighton and Hove City Council will ask what the future holds for the blocks which used to stand in practically every street.

Experts, individuals and community groups will be consulted as the local authority launches a widespread look into the issue.

Pete West, chairman of the council’s environment committee, who proposed the scrutiny panel, said: “Publicly accessible toilets are really important, particularly for older people, those with disabilities, parents of young children, pregnant women, but they also play a part in supporting more people getting around on foot and by bike.

“Given the scale of cuts the council faces over the next few years we have to find a way of making publicly accessible loos work in the long-term, which is why I requested a cross-party panel give this important issue in-depth consideration.

“The findings of this study will help inform decisions about this very important service in the city.”

Evidence will be gathered at a number of public sessions in the new year before the panel reports back in April.

Among the issues that could be looked at are how many, the cost, providing unisex facilities and better signs.

Community scheme

Potential charging and extending its community toilet scheme, which sees businesses offer their facilities to non-paying customers, will also be considered.

Alexandra Lewis, of Alfresco restaurant in Brighton seafront, said lots of people often walk into the premises asking to use their toilets.

She said: “They have loos but they are not always open.

“We actually had one elderly man who came in and he had wet himself as he could not get to the toilet in time.

“It was quite a horrible situation.”

Local authorities are not under a duty to provide public toilets but there are currently 81 in the city.

Closed toilets

Some of these have been awarded the prestigious “loo of the year” national award.

Last year, a number were closed as the local authority looked to make savings and bosses have warned the situation could worsen as town hall budgets become more and more squeezed.

Officials have said any recommendations will likely have to be funded from existing funding.

Valerie Paynter, of Clarendon Road, Hove, organised a public petition on the issue earlier this year.

She said: “If we are to call ourselves a good host to them, this must be addressed.

“We need all-purpose comfort stations providing more than just a loo.”

Talking point: How important are public toilets? To what extent do you think a community scheme would work in Brighton and Hove?

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Comments (27)

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3:15pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Dudleyr says...

It is incredible that the matter even comes up. Common sense and hygiene speak for themselves. If the Council wants to close down or diminish the already existing paucity of public toilets in Brighton and Hove then perhaps that noble body should lead by example and shut down the the toilets in their facilities.
It is incredible that the matter even comes up. Common sense and hygiene speak for themselves. If the Council wants to close down or diminish the already existing paucity of public toilets in Brighton and Hove then perhaps that noble body should lead by example and shut down the the toilets in their facilities. Dudleyr
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Tue 4 Dec 12

briceofnice says...

I agree. Free public toilets are key to both the cleanliness of the city and the inclusion of many people who can't afford to pay.
I agree. Free public toilets are key to both the cleanliness of the city and the inclusion of many people who can't afford to pay. briceofnice
  • Score: 0

3:25pm Tue 4 Dec 12

inadaptado says...

I would only charge for the use of public toilets in very busy areas (ergo, those with an expensive maintenance), provided there are alternatives nearby. You can't put tourists in the position of urgently needing to use a toilet far away in the Esplanade and not having any change with them (or someone to borrow it from).
I would only charge for the use of public toilets in very busy areas (ergo, those with an expensive maintenance), provided there are alternatives nearby. You can't put tourists in the position of urgently needing to use a toilet far away in the Esplanade and not having any change with them (or someone to borrow it from). inadaptado
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Tue 4 Dec 12

tooned_in says...

to coin a phrase your taking the Pee!!!
Do we not pay enough in taxes & for parking we now have to pay to use the toilet in public...whats next toll booth at each end of western road to charge pedestrians to spend money shopping or perhaps a charge to visit the beach?
to coin a phrase your taking the Pee!!! Do we not pay enough in taxes & for parking we now have to pay to use the toilet in public...whats next toll booth at each end of western road to charge pedestrians to spend money shopping or perhaps a charge to visit the beach? tooned_in
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Tue 4 Dec 12

twigley says...

With an ever increasing over 60s population reducing parking charges but charging for public loos is surely taking the p**s.
With an ever increasing over 60s population reducing parking charges but charging for public loos is surely taking the p**s. twigley
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Orlando Faark says...

I would like to congratulate the Argus on publishing a picture of what would be an ideal alternative location for council offices.

It is at this compact and feature-ladened, central hub, headquarters that they could keep their finger on the pulse of the city...thereby being able to congratulate each other at the very moment they manage to kill it off.
I would like to congratulate the Argus on publishing a picture of what would be an ideal alternative location for council offices. It is at this compact and feature-ladened, central hub, headquarters that they could keep their finger on the pulse of the city...thereby being able to congratulate each other at the very moment they manage to kill it off. Orlando Faark
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Tue 4 Dec 12

SicklySeagull says...

Whilst thinking that Public Loos should be provided free it is highly likely that our council will continue to close them, a 20p charge should pay for an attendant to ensure they are kept clean and not damaged.
Whilst thinking that Public Loos should be provided free it is highly likely that our council will continue to close them, a 20p charge should pay for an attendant to ensure they are kept clean and not damaged. SicklySeagull
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Tue 4 Dec 12

qm says...

This is a public service that we have always paid for! What happens across the country is that they take our tax and NI contributions, spend it on pc and other favourite projects and of course jollies, then tell us they can no longer afford to fund the services we already pay for, and then try to kid us that they've only done this out of the goodness of their hearts and that we shall now have to pay2p! Suggest we acquire fur coats and learn to **** a leg!!
This is a public service that we have always paid for! What happens across the country is that they take our tax and NI contributions, spend it on pc and other favourite projects and of course jollies, then tell us they can no longer afford to fund the services we already pay for, and then try to kid us that they've only done this out of the goodness of their hearts and that we shall now have to pay2p! Suggest we acquire fur coats and learn to **** a leg!! qm
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Tue 4 Dec 12

davyboy says...

many towns and cities now charge for using toilets, but if doing so, then an attendant should be on duty to ensure the place stays clean, and no unscrupulous people hang about. i would not want to pay if there was nothing to show for it!
many towns and cities now charge for using toilets, but if doing so, then an attendant should be on duty to ensure the place stays clean, and no unscrupulous people hang about. i would not want to pay if there was nothing to show for it! davyboy
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Tue 4 Dec 12

sussexram40 says...

I think a lot of public toilets got shut down because they were used for non toiletting purposes. I think the word is 'cottages'. Not sure the local taxpayer should fund places where people can meet to have adult liasons. People should do that in the privacy of their own home.
I think a lot of public toilets got shut down because they were used for non toiletting purposes. I think the word is 'cottages'. Not sure the local taxpayer should fund places where people can meet to have adult liasons. People should do that in the privacy of their own home. sussexram40
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Tue 4 Dec 12

fredflintstone1 says...

This just confirms that even managing the basics effectively is beyond the Greens.

You can deliver portaloos for travellers when they pitch up, Pete, but it appears that you don't seem to think the rest of society should be accorded accessible facilities?
This just confirms that even managing the basics effectively is beyond the Greens. You can deliver portaloos for travellers when they pitch up, Pete, but it appears that you don't seem to think the rest of society should be accorded accessible facilities? fredflintstone1
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Tue 4 Dec 12

BrightonHoveboy says...

If they wish to charge then they will have to bring the facilities up to the Twentieth century let alone the Twenty First. Hand driers that work and blow hot air too, and the cubicles must be cleaned by the warden on duty, not leaving it to the user to clean the seat etc so it can be used, to say nothing of the decoration that has been carried out by a blind hedgehog
If they wish to charge then they will have to bring the facilities up to the Twentieth century let alone the Twenty First. Hand driers that work and blow hot air too, and the cubicles must be cleaned by the warden on duty, not leaving it to the user to clean the seat etc so it can be used, to say nothing of the decoration that has been carried out by a blind hedgehog BrightonHoveboy
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Tue 4 Dec 12

nocando says...

They can't charge people for facilities that don't actually exist. Back to the drawing board.
They can't charge people for facilities that don't actually exist. Back to the drawing board. nocando
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Its two Euros to use the loos in St Marks Square, Venice.
One Euro in Monte Carlo. Berlin is 50 cents, 50 pence in Covent Garden, 30p at Victoria Station and 20p at Brighton station.
I don't mind paying if they are clean and safe.
Why not outsource loo cleaning and management to an old wizened man or woman like they do abroad.
Its two Euros to use the loos in St Marks Square, Venice. One Euro in Monte Carlo. Berlin is 50 cents, 50 pence in Covent Garden, 30p at Victoria Station and 20p at Brighton station. I don't mind paying if they are clean and safe. Why not outsource loo cleaning and management to an old wizened man or woman like they do abroad. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

8:53pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Sussex jim says...

The Victorians built public toilets for all to use, in an effort to clean up our streets and society. They should never had been closed, and should be available everywhere for the public to use; free, like the NHS.
If there are problems with certain types of people abusing the facilities, then that should be dealt with by police patrols as in the past.
The Victorians built public toilets for all to use, in an effort to clean up our streets and society. They should never had been closed, and should be available everywhere for the public to use; free, like the NHS. If there are problems with certain types of people abusing the facilities, then that should be dealt with by police patrols as in the past. Sussex jim
  • Score: 0

9:17pm Tue 4 Dec 12

mictrix says...

i think 20p is ok for nice clean lavatorys.a very small price to pay if you get caught short after eating some of the digusting food in Brighton and need to splash your guts down the pan lol
i think 20p is ok for nice clean lavatorys.a very small price to pay if you get caught short after eating some of the digusting food in Brighton and need to splash your guts down the pan lol mictrix
  • Score: 0

9:43pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Bristol VR says...

I am really beginning to get totally fed up with this council when all it is cutting are services which we as rate payers pay for but councillors are not willing to take a cut in their salary or expenses like every other working class person in this city has! Now they want to charge for a pee! ... well i'll tell you what.. why don't they start with charging for a pee in their own offices first!

Get this lot of numpties out of office now before Brighton really does end up the worst seaside town in England!
I am really beginning to get totally fed up with this council when all it is cutting are services which we as rate payers pay for but councillors are not willing to take a cut in their salary or expenses like every other working class person in this city has! Now they want to charge for a pee! ... well i'll tell you what.. why don't they start with charging for a pee in their own offices first! Get this lot of numpties out of office now before Brighton really does end up the worst seaside town in England! Bristol VR
  • Score: 0

9:51pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Sussexjim, the earliest toilets were opened in London in the 1850s and only the wealthiest could use them as they cost a penny which was placed in a slot.....hence the term, going to spend a penny.
Prior to that people would offer a bucket and a cape for people to use on the streets and this too had a cost.
The NHS isn't free either. You pay taxes for it.
Sussexjim, the earliest toilets were opened in London in the 1850s and only the wealthiest could use them as they cost a penny which was placed in a slot.....hence the term, going to spend a penny. Prior to that people would offer a bucket and a cape for people to use on the streets and this too had a cost. The NHS isn't free either. You pay taxes for it. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

12:24am Wed 5 Dec 12

funkyyoyo says...

iv seen 'wettons' cleaning company cleaning the toilets everyday in ovingdean beach,surely any other unused toilets could be reopened and managed by them,they seem to do a good job!!! other than that brighton has an excellent selection of 'phone boxes' that have been urinals for years,or shop doorways,or ad i reg see,just blatently standing and peeing anywhere!!! lovely!! i saw 2 girls in the summer crouch in the grass park in norfolk square,they left and i said to them that i hope they flushed the toilet,classy pair they were too!! perhaps its time to reintroduce public toilets, so the neolithic inhabitants of brighton can be educated into how to use a toilet
iv seen 'wettons' cleaning company cleaning the toilets everyday in ovingdean beach,surely any other unused toilets could be reopened and managed by them,they seem to do a good job!!! other than that brighton has an excellent selection of 'phone boxes' that have been urinals for years,or shop doorways,or ad i reg see,just blatently standing and peeing anywhere!!! lovely!! i saw 2 girls in the summer crouch in the grass park in norfolk square,they left and i said to them that i hope they flushed the toilet,classy pair they were too!! perhaps its time to reintroduce public toilets, so the neolithic inhabitants of brighton can be educated into how to use a toilet funkyyoyo
  • Score: 0

7:38am Wed 5 Dec 12

Dealing with idiots says...

They want to build a tower but can't afford to provide adequate toilet facilities.
Vote of no confidence in the Green administration e-petition now live on the Brighton and Hove City Council website. If you love your city and want to end the waste and destruction of the Greens, please sign the petition. We need 1250 signatures to get this discussed in full council. Surely there are 1250 angry people in the city who want to make a difference? Save Our City.
http://present.brigh
ton-hove.gov.uk/mgEP
etitionDisplay.aspx?
ID=360&RPID=6033530&
HPID=6033530
They want to build a tower but can't afford to provide adequate toilet facilities. Vote of no confidence in the Green administration e-petition now live on the Brighton and Hove City Council website. If you love your city and want to end the waste and destruction of the Greens, please sign the petition. We need 1250 signatures to get this discussed in full council. Surely there are 1250 angry people in the city who want to make a difference? Save Our City. http://present.brigh ton-hove.gov.uk/mgEP etitionDisplay.aspx? ID=360&RPID=6033530& HPID=6033530 Dealing with idiots
  • Score: 0

8:53am Wed 5 Dec 12

whereisthe...? says...

So Argus 'poll' is in fact a leading question - "choice" of either support the proposed cuts, or paying more!!


Argus - the propaganda arm of the council.


No wonder no one buys papers anymore if this is the level of 'journalism'
So Argus 'poll' is in fact a leading question - "choice" of either support the proposed cuts, or paying more!! Argus - the propaganda arm of the council. No wonder no one buys papers anymore if this is the level of 'journalism' whereisthe...?
  • Score: 0

9:53am Wed 5 Dec 12

shining star says...

I can remember the victorian public toilets under the clock tower in North Street. There were seperate toilets for men and women. They were, if I'm not mistaken paved over when the pedestrian area was built around the clock tower. I'm sure they would still be underneath there. If so, why not unearth them and re-open even for a small charge to pay for an attendant to keep them clean. There are also victorian toilets under Brighton Station, you will see where the entrance was to them and also access to the Station was as you walk up under the bridge, on the right hand side at the top of Trafalgar Street. They too presumably have just been boarded over.
I can remember the victorian public toilets under the clock tower in North Street. There were seperate toilets for men and women. They were, if I'm not mistaken paved over when the pedestrian area was built around the clock tower. I'm sure they would still be underneath there. If so, why not unearth them and re-open even for a small charge to pay for an attendant to keep them clean. There are also victorian toilets under Brighton Station, you will see where the entrance was to them and also access to the Station was as you walk up under the bridge, on the right hand side at the top of Trafalgar Street. They too presumably have just been boarded over. shining star
  • Score: 0

10:37am Wed 5 Dec 12

qm says...

Dealing with idiots wrote:
They want to build a tower but can't afford to provide adequate toilet facilities.
Vote of no confidence in the Green administration e-petition now live on the Brighton and Hove City Council website. If you love your city and want to end the waste and destruction of the Greens, please sign the petition. We need 1250 signatures to get this discussed in full council. Surely there are 1250 angry people in the city who want to make a difference? Save Our City.
http://present.brigh

ton-hove.gov.uk/mgEP

etitionDisplay.aspx?

ID=360&RPID=6033
530&
HPID=6033530
Unfortunately this ePetition is closed.
[quote][p][bold]Dealing with idiots[/bold] wrote: They want to build a tower but can't afford to provide adequate toilet facilities. Vote of no confidence in the Green administration e-petition now live on the Brighton and Hove City Council website. If you love your city and want to end the waste and destruction of the Greens, please sign the petition. We need 1250 signatures to get this discussed in full council. Surely there are 1250 angry people in the city who want to make a difference? Save Our City. http://present.brigh ton-hove.gov.uk/mgEP etitionDisplay.aspx? ID=360&RPID=6033 530& HPID=6033530[/p][/quote]Unfortunately this ePetition is closed. qm
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Wed 5 Dec 12

Dealing with idiots says...

No its not you clown. Open for all those who care about the city to make their feelings known until the 17th Jan 2013.

Paper copies available later this week.
No its not you clown. Open for all those who care about the city to make their feelings known until the 17th Jan 2013. Paper copies available later this week. Dealing with idiots
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Wed 5 Dec 12

Bob_The_Ferret says...

Maybe the council should be reminded that Barbara Castle's 1963 turnstile Act is still in force, and they may not control access to public lavatories with a turnstile, which therefore somewhat limits the possibility of enforcing charges without an attendant.
Maybe the council should be reminded that Barbara Castle's 1963 turnstile Act is still in force, and they may not control access to public lavatories with a turnstile, which therefore somewhat limits the possibility of enforcing charges without an attendant. Bob_The_Ferret
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Wed 5 Dec 12

sussexram40 says...

They have turnstiles at the London railway stations don't they.
They have turnstiles at the London railway stations don't they. sussexram40
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Wed 5 Dec 12

Fairfax Sakes says...

Lol I love these comments and all I can say is the majority of people (which is probably only about 3 individuals under different aliases) posting them are complete drivelling idiots. Do you not understand that resources are scarce in the world, hence we have to make economic decisions? The already bloated government is strugggling to cope with the demands of it's citizens, who expect all and sundry to come from the puny taxe pot. Although I dont personally pay income-taxes thanks to off shore arrangements, I can tell you what little most pay is not enough! So get used to having to pay for your consumption directly, including use of toilet facilties-nothing in this world is free.
Lol I love these comments and all I can say is the majority of people (which is probably only about 3 individuals under different aliases) posting them are complete drivelling idiots. Do you not understand that resources are scarce in the world, hence we have to make economic decisions? The already bloated government is strugggling to cope with the demands of it's citizens, who expect all and sundry to come from the puny taxe pot. Although I dont personally pay income-taxes thanks to off shore arrangements, I can tell you what little most pay is not enough! So get used to having to pay for your consumption directly, including use of toilet facilties-nothing in this world is free. Fairfax Sakes
  • Score: 0

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