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?
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