Gazette readers think potential proposals to close – or privatise – public loos in South Tyneside to save cash are toilet-ly outrageous.
The borough’s ruling Labour group is targeting toilets as part of a review of services, which could mean the closure of some, while the running of others could be put out to tender.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council says there are “no plans to close any public toilets” without replacing them with alternative facilities.
But a senior Labour source said that could mean utilising facilities at public buildings – like Haven Point on the seafront and the soon-to-be-completed new library, The Word – instead of purpose-built buildings.
Gazette readers have taken to our Facebook page and website to express their views.
Alan Johnson wrote: “What a state we are in when we can’t afford public toilets. Ridiculous.”
Joyce Richardson is worried any closures may affect tourism.
She said: “Close them and what few visitors you get will have nowhere to spend a penny, so even less tourists than what you have now.”
Sheryl Davison is hoping that potential charges may mean they’re cleaner.
She added: “I use a shop toilet if I need one, but I know quite a few places you visit charge you to use the toilets. Glasgow, Scarborough, Leeds, Whitby amongst some of them. They’re normally kept spotless, I just hope if Shields charge they keep them clean put attendants on.”
Wilsondg said: “A spokesman for the council says there are ‘no plans to close any public toilets without replacing them with alternative facilities’. I suppose the alternative facilities will be the exorbitantly expensive rental Portaloos which are parked in the car park near the new sea wall. These are required of course because the council in all it’s wisdom decided that the perfectly good toilets next to the Pier Pavilion had to be demolished.”
Caroline Baker would rather savings were made elsewhere. She stated: “It’s beyond a joke, why can’t we cut back on getting all these bands in the summer and use local ones. Far too much is spent on trying to bring others into our town yet it’s falling apart.”
Kerry Watling isn’t happy with the current condition of the town’s public toilets.
She said: “Toilets are disgusting anyway. Shields is already a dump.”
Meanwhile Pete Davies had a solution – which might not be favourable with everyone, especially the ladies.
He said: “Plenty of trees down the road in Marine Park, cheap at the price.”