Fringe Box



Letter: The Council Should Not Delegate Toilet Decision to the Public

Published on: 7 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 7 Jan, 2022

From: Brian Creese

Chair of Guildford Labour

In response to: Public to Decide Which Toilets to Go

If a council has to make a decision on the future of our public toilets – and that is obviously arguable in itself – they should be looking at the following data:

  • What is the footfall for each set of toilets?
  • How close are they to other facilities?
  • Do any of them need maintenance work to keep them in good order?
  • Which ones might have a positive alternative use? And so on…

In other words, the council has the necessary data to make an informed decision.

If the council asks me, as a member of the public I do not have access to that data so it probably comes down to whether I use them or not.

It is time this rudderless, leaderless council actually tried taking responsibility and made an actual decision instead of asking the public to their dirty work when they think something might be unpopular.

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Responses to Letter: The Council Should Not Delegate Toilet Decision to the Public

  1. K White Reply

    January 7, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    The Woodbridge Road toilets (which serve the cafe next door, are part of the facilities when major cricket matches and the Guildford Beer Festival take place, and are used by the public in general) underwent considerable refurbishment, over a number of weeks, just a couple of years ago.

  2. Graham Richings Reply

    January 7, 2022 at 10:44 pm

    We none of us know when we might need any of these toilets. So the public response should be to keep them all.

  3. Jane Hepburn Reply

    January 7, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    Good points from the Labour chair but please don’t make this a political football.

    Public toilets in the town centre are a necessity, whatever political party you’re from, particularly once Nero’s, House of Fraser and the Friary Centre have packed up for the night.

    The public are eminently well equipped to give a considered opinion about where they would like to relieve themselves once night falls. I for one would rather it was in the safety of the Ward Street loos for example, than in the murky shadows of an alleyway or the grounds of the rose garden near the library.

    Regardless of footfall, public toilets are a public convenience. However much they cost to keep up, it must at least equal the cost of cleaning up the neighbourhood after Friday and Saturday night high jinks.

    £65,000 a year for upkeep is peanuts compared with the millions recently spent on a superfluous bridge linking Walnut Tree Close and the Odeon cinema.

    This ridiculous attempt at penny-pinching must stop.

  4. Neil Hanlon Reply

    January 8, 2022 at 11:57 am

    Brian Creese is making the mistake of applying obvious common sense to a GBC project. Rather, he should think of a way of slowing the decision down to a snail’s pace, driving up costs (consultations are excellent for both of these), and finding someone else to blame for the derogation of basic duties at the public’s expense when the eventual lunatic decision is made.

    There is a reason why Guildford is in the state it is – this is a prime example of total incompetence and unfitness for purpose. “Walnut Bridge” and “The Village” spring to mind; they never, ever learn.

  5. Daniel Hill Reply

    January 8, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    The people making these decisions have no business sense whatsoever. I know some people who organise advertising in London who will strike a good deal and the money generated would cover the costs.

    I am happy to put a proposal together to buy the toilets for £1 each and we could put an agreement together which means that the uses are restricted as public toilets only and can’t be developed for anything else. I would maintain them myself and it would not cost the council a penny while residents can keep spending theirs.

  6. H Trevor Jones Reply

    January 8, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    I’m inclined to agree with several previous comments, but perhaps (as says Brian Creese) someone should first see how well the different toilets are used. Where the outside of the buildings are covered by CCTV, is it possible for someone to count visits or, even better and probably cheaper, use some technology to do the counting? I know that some of our trains have automatic counting of people entering and leaving through the doors, so the technology is there, but I don’t know what it costs.

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