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Pay to pee? - Great Yarmouth Borough Council to consider public toilet charge

PUBLISHED: 13:02 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:02 12 July 2019

Public toilets on North Drive in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Google Maps.

Public toilets on North Drive in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Google Maps.

Archant

People using public toilets operated by Great Yarmouth Borough Council may have to pay for the privilege, Town Hall officials are proposing.

The authority currently operates 11 such facilities, both year-round and seasonal, across the borough.

At a meeting of the council's environment committee next Tuesday (July 16), members will discuss the possibility of imposing a fee for their use.

A report to the committee states: "In order to mitigate the ongoing costs associated with repairs and maintenance, income generation opportunities should be considered."

Examples include advertising and charging for use, it says.

Penny Carpenter, chair of Norfolk County Council's children's services committee. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Penny Carpenter, chair of Norfolk County Council's children's services committee. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

The report continues: "Moving forward this could support the continued operation of the facilities and ensure standards of refurbishment can be maintained."

Cllr Penny Carpenter, chairman of the committee, said: "This will come before the committee to discuss next week. A consensus will be reached at that time.

"I'm looking forward to discussion on that," she added.

Cllr Barbara Wright said in the past the council used to charge for using the toilets.

The seasonal toilet at Second Avenue in Caister. Picture: Google Maps.The seasonal toilet at Second Avenue in Caister. Picture: Google Maps.

"I think we should have never stopped charging, that covered the cost of someone to look after them," she said.

"Where do you go and not pay for a toilet? We went to Gran Canaria, there was a toilet on the beach, we had to pay a euro," she added.

Next week's meeting will also hear debate on the allocation of the public toilet refurbishment budget, which this year is £155,000.

It has been recommended the money be spent on sprucing up the seafront toilet at Euston Road in Great Yarmouth, as well as the seasonal facilities at Hemsby, Second Avenue and Beach Road in Caister, Scratby and Winterton.

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Another proposal to be weighed up is the reduction of the number of cubicles at the Ravine and North Drive toilets.

In 2016, the council allocated funding to the upkeep of the borough's public toilets, and work is almost complete, with the facilities at Euston Road and Market Gates outstanding.

There are 17 public toilets across the borough.

Until 2016 the borough council managed all of the facilities but after a review in 2016 eight were taken over by parish councils and businesses through management agreements.

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