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New Rottingdean toilets go ‘gender neutral’
Unisex toilets are to be rebranded as gender neutral by “politically correct” council chiefs.
A £140,000 refurbishment of the facilities in Rottingdean seafront started this week.
But emails seen by The Argus indicate bosses “wish to promote the term gender neutral” when discussing the block that will be open to everyone regardless of their sex.
Supporters claim it will make it more accessible for those who do not identify with the male-female binary.
But ward councillor Lynda Hyde said: “This does seem to be a case of unnecessary bureaucracy and political correctness.
“If the male/female symbols, rather than any text, are to be used on the toilet then this avoids any confusion so why is the council muddying the waters by insisting they are called gender neutral, which will mean nothing to most people?
“The parish council, which is part funding this toilet, actually wanted to have separate male and female toilets, which would also have been my preference and, I suspect, the preference of most local residents.
“However, the city council in their wisdom, decided otherwise.”
Rottingdean Parish Council is contributing 60% (£84,000) of the total construction costs.
The rest, along with £16,100 additional fees and design charges, will be paid for by Brighton and Hove City Council.
The block, which will include four new toilets open every day of the year, will also include a café.
Work is due to be completed in 12 weeks.
Parish councillor Frank Considine said a sign will shortly be placed on the fencing around the site describing the toilets as gender neutral.
An image of a male, female and child will also be fitted to the doors when complete.
It comes after the local authority carried out a scrutiny into making it fairer for trans people to live, work and socialise in Brighton and Hove.
The local authority provided no comment when asked about the use of ‘gender neutral’ rather than ‘unisex’.
Instead, a council spokeswoman said: “When producing signs for public toilets in the city we use standard images rather than words.
“This is particularly beneficial to the many tourists from overseas visiting our city.”
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