No plan to close toilets

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With reference to the letter from Mr Wiffin entitled Town has been Destroyed (October 3), I wanted to correct some misconceptions.

Firstly, let me reiterate that we have no plans at present to close any public toilets without providing alternative facilities. Furthermore, in response to the concerns raised about tourists, we are actually improving our public toilet provision in key areas – such as the foreshore – to make sure people have the facilities they need. We recognise that our beautiful coastline is a major attraction for residents and visitors and that is why we are investing to improve facilities in that area.

Far from destroying South Shields, the council has embarked on an ambitious strategy to enhance the wellbeing and prosperity of the people of the borough. And there is much to celebrate with the opening of The Word, National Centre for the Written Word in a few weeks’ time, a revitalised South Marine Park and a stunning, award-winning Littlehaven Promenade and Seawall. More recently, initial support for £2.45million and a development grant of £194,000 was secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund to restore North Marine Park to its Victorian splendour.

Here in South Tyneside we are using culture as a catalyst to regenerate the borough and safeguard the 3,500 jobs reliant on tourism. In no way would we jeopardise that by failing to provide public conveniences. We recognise the importance of providing safe and clean toilet facilities in visitor hotspots which is why we are currently expanding and refurbishing public conveniences in those areas.

Councillor Moira Smith,

Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety