Report of the Head of Environment and Public Realm - Community Toilet Scheme
- Meeting of Communities, Housing and Environment Committee, Tuesday 18th October, 2016 6.30 pm (Item 82.)
- View the background to item 82.
The Committee considered the report of the Head of Environment and Public Realm relating to the Community Toilet Scheme.
The Street Scene Operations Manager advised that a review of the Community Toilet Scheme had been undertaken to take into account new businesses within the town and to ensure that those toilets offered under the scheme were of good quality and easily accessible.
Members noted that Officers had worked closely with One Maidstone to identify such businesses and they had agreed to speak with businesses on a business to business level to gain support for the scheme.
As a result of the
review, it was noted that:-
ten toilets had been identified as being suitable, both in terms of
quality, provision and location with the Town Centre;
a further three businesses had yet to
confirm whether they would be willing to take part in the
five toilets from the original scheme had been removed;
· one business had declined to be part of the scheme due to their entry policy.
The Street Scene Operations Manager confirmed that the Community Toilet Scheme would be advertised through the Council’s website and leaflets would be available in prominent places throughout the town centre in perspex holders. In addition a large sticker would be put on the front doors of the premises participating in the scheme so members of the public would be able to easily identify them.
During the ensuing
debate, the following comments were made by Members:-
the Community Toilet Scheme had been a token response to the
closure of the public toilets in Maidstone
what agreement is made with the
businesses signed up, i.e. what can we expect from them?
why are we paying these businesses when there are already up to 15
retailers/eateries already providing toilet facilities within the
town centre, as defined by using toilet apps such as
‘Flush’ or ‘Toilet Finder’, do we need to
pay these other businesses, this could be a saving?
the scheme disadvantages the elderly,
the young, MBC staff (on the road), utility people etc, did Officers carry out an Equalities Impact
will there be any new signage for these
there is a national campaign to provide
disabled facilities so will there be a changing places facility for
the toilet facilities within the scheme
have differing opening times.
the review seems to increase costs to
could new public conveniences be built
in the town?
the scheme was a very effective way of dealing with the situation
and provided good value for money
this is a very pragmatic solution and
promotion of the scheme is important.
how many complaints had been logged
where visitors to the town could not find a toilet
In response the
Officer advised that:-
the cost of cleaning a Council owned
toilet block was £15,000 per annum, this did not include the
maintenance of the building. The total cost to the Council was
extremely significant. In a majority of cases the toilet blocks were in
poor condition and anti-social behaviour did cause further
an agreement with the businesses would
require them to achieve an acceptable level of cleanliness and
should this not be achieved, there would be a mechanism for them to
be withdrawn from the scheme and for payment to cease.
if a business is participating in the
scheme, the customer would feel more confident about going in there
and not having to buy something.
the Council is investigating whether the
equipment for the changing places that was in the Gateway offices
could be reused elsewhere assuming it could be accommodated in
an Equalities Impact Needs Assessment
was carried out in March 2016 when the previous report was
presented to Committee, but another copy could be provided for
Members if they wished.
The original finger signage for the community toilets got lost
amongst all the others, so alternatives would be introduced such as
the leaflets in prominent places and large A0 signs
depicting the location of the toilets would be cited in prime
Any provision of new public conveniences would need to be
considered as part of the future development of the town.
· There had been 4 complaints received where visitors could not find a toilet facility.
That the work which has been carried out to refresh the Community
Toilet Scheme be noted; and
2) That the 10 community toilets to replace those previously part of the scheme be noted.
Voting: For: 9 Against: 0 Abstentions: 0