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VOTE: Should public toilets be closed to save money?

C130127-1 Chi Loos  phot kate

Loos in Cathedral Way. Photograph by Kate Shemilt.C130127-1

C130127-1 Chi Loos phot kate Loos in Cathedral Way. Photograph by Kate Shemilt.C130127-1

PUBLIC loos – a ‘basic human right’ or a privilege?

That was the question this week as Chichester District Council revealed plans to close public toilets as part of proposals to save £100,000.

The closure of toilets in Cathedral Way, Chichester, Florence Park, Chichester, and in Wisborough Green will be debated at a meeting of Chichester District Council’s cabinet next week.

Councillor John Connor, member for the environment, said: “Budget cuts are increasingly forcing difficult decisions such as these on us.”

However, in a letter to the Observer, reader Mike Brazier suggested other ways of saving money, including energy savings in council offices.

“Maybe £100,000 can be saved, or rather not spent, in many ways,” he wrote.

“The general public are missing out on a lot and are having to accept a lot of cuts. Surely having public toilets is a basic human right.”

He described searching for somewhere to use the toilet as a ‘lottery’.

Options set to be considered by cabinet members include:

n To close, by March, 2014, toilets in Cathedral Way, Florence Park and Wisborough Green.

n Continued negotiations on the lease of council land at Selsey to the RNLI for a new lifeboat station, including a public toilet.

n Transferring management of the Pound Road public toilets to West Wittering Parish Council.

n Requesting a £20,000 annual contribution towards the running of Chichester city-centre toilets from Chichester City Council.

n Changing the cleaning contract.

Officers said the closure of Cathedral Way would save £15,000 a year and an alternative toilet was within 350m.

The closure of Florence Park would save £12,000 and the closure of Wisborough Green would save £10,000 a year.

In a statement, a council spokeswoman said there was another public toilet ‘only three miles away’ from Wisborough Green.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Should public toilets be closed to save money? We want your views - have your say in the voting panel on the right, and leave your comments below.

 

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