1 July 2014

New seafront toilets open

While many local authorities are having to close public toilets following the latest round of budget cuts, Brighton & Hove City Council is bucking the trend.

The council has officially opened a newly refurbished seafront toilet block at West Pier Arches.

The extra facilities, at an extremely busy part of the seafront, will be fully attended throughout the summer and will be part funded through charging for use.

The decision to charge follows a Brighton & Hove City Council ‘Toilet Scrutiny Panel’ set up last year. The panel members agreed that the council should investigate new ways of creating income to improve the service and standards of existing public toilets and, with increasing budget pressure, try to prevent any closures.

The toilets have been fitted with a ‘paddlegate’ entry system and the charge is 30p.  Entrance for disabled users is free of charge.  (The disabled toilets are outside of the main toilets so easily accessible without going into the main toilet block.)

Councillor Pete West, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “As we approach our busy summer season we are pleased to be able to open these newly refurbished toilets for residents and visitors.

The 30p cost is in line with other charging toilets throughout the country, and will help pay for a full time attendant in June, July and August, when the seafront is at its busiest.”

He added that a survey carried out in 2013 toilet users voted that they would be prepared to pay an entry charge if the income raised were to go back into improving the service.