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Agenda item

Report of the Head of Environment and Public Realm - Review of Public Conveniences

Decision:

(1)  That the Committee approves the objective that the provision of public conveniences should support the Council’s ambition for Maidstone to be an attractive place for visitors and residents, and therefore should focus on areas where provision is currently insufficient;

(2)  That the Committee agrees to the removal of the Butterfly Urinal from Maidstone High Street;

(3)  That the Committee agrees that the principle of the Community Toilet Scheme should be refreshed and reviewed;

(4)  That the Committee delegates to the Head of Environment and Public Realm in conjunction with the Head of Commercial and Economic Development the authority to agree new Community Toilet arrangements with businesses in the Town Centre which have suitable facilities;

(5)  That the Committee agrees to continue the current payments to support the Parish Councils’ service provision until it can be considered as part of the review of the Parish Services Scheme; and

(6)  That the Committee supports the proposal to explore investment opportunities for new facilities as part of the implementation of a modest Business Improvement District and through the collection of Section 106 contributions.

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Head of Environment and Public Realm regarding the Review of Public Conveniences.

 

It was noted that the current cost of the provision of public toilets was just over £210,000 per annum.  £130,000 of this sum was recharged to other departments, predominantly for the cleaning and maintenance of toilets in the Borough.

 

Members were appraised that the Riverside area had been identified as an area for investment within the town as part of a 5 year plan.  This would include redeveloping the toilets at Fairmeadow.  Various options were being investigated to assist with the investment, including securing Section 106 contributions.

 

Officers advised that they would be approaching more businesses outside of the town to join the Community Toilet Scheme to enable more areas to be covered around the borough, such as Parkwood Shops.

 

In response to Members questions, Officers advised:-

·  That the paid toilet are expensive to run and are prone to vandalism

·  Officers would be approaching businesses in the town centre who stay open late into the night to join the Scheme

·  Officers would look at sponsorship for the toilets possibly through the One Maidstone route

·  The Parkwood toilet would be closed but as already stated businesses in Parkwood would be approached to join the Scheme.

 

Councillor English proposed and Councillor Webb seconded that Recommendation 6 be amended to read:-

 

“That the Committee supports the proposal to explore investment opportunities for new facilities as part of the implementation of a modest Business Improvement District and in order to facilitate the possible funds from planning obligations prepare a business case in line with the parameters outlined in Recommendation 1”.

 

Voting:  For:  2  Against:  2  Abstentions:  4

Motion Lost.

 

Councillor Mrs Blackmore proposed and Councillor Perry seconded that Recommendation 6 be amended to read:-

 

“That the Committee supports the proposal to explore investment opportunities for new facilities as part of the implementation of a modest Business Improvement District and through the collection of Section 106 contributions”.

 

Voting:  For  8  Against:  0  Abstentions:  0

 

Motion Carried.

 

The Committee then voted on the recommendations as amended.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)  That the Committee approves the objective that the provision of public conveniences should support the Council’s ambition for Maidstone to be an attractive place for visitors and residents, and therefore should focus on areas where provision is currently insufficient;

(2)  That the Committee agrees to the removal of the Butterfly Urinal from Maidstone High Street;

(3)  That the Committee agrees that the principle of the Community Toilet Scheme should be refreshed and reviewed;

(4)  That the Committee delegates to the Head of Environment and Public Realm in conjunction with the Head of Commercial and Economic Development the authority to agree new Community Toilet arrangements with businesses in the Town Centre which have suitable facilities;

(5)  That the Committee agrees to continue the current payments to support the Parish Councils’ service provision until it can be considered as part of the review of the Parish Services Scheme; and

(6)  That the Committee supports the proposal to explore investment opportunities for new facilities as part of the implementation of a modest Business Improvement District and through the collection of Section 106 contributions.

 

Voting:  For:  8  Against:  0  Abstentions:  0

Supporting documents: