The struggle of public toilet funding has been long and arduous for many residents battling their local councils. But cuts to the public coffers have meant that facilities deemed inessential, such as public washrooms, have had to be curtailed.
Such is the story in Flintshire Council, where the final five public toilets will be closed or offloaded, saving the county council up to £94,000.
While money will be saved, what vital services will be lost?
For a start, general hygiene will drop as places to wash hands decrease. This will lead to an increase in the spread of germs in public areas, including transport and retail outlets.
Moreover, the elderly will be less likely to leave their homes. Their weak bladders and vulnerability to germs will put them increasingly at risk on Britain’s streets.
The closure of public washrooms is, therefore, a limiter to social mobility.
Vote with your bladder
The Conservative government seem aware of this. Prime Minister David Cameron said, “It may sound to some people like a fringe issue – but when you are dealing with wanting to have lots of tourists, with having lots of beach resorts, this is a really important issue.
“Of course, there is more that we can do – and I know that we will be looking at all these things.”
People have to go to the toilet
Raymond Martin, managing director of the British Toilet Association, said: “This is a public facility. People have to go to the toilet. We have to do five things in life – we have to eat, sleep, breathe, drink and we have to go to the toilet.
“Failure to go to the toilet we get sick, we get disorientated, we have high blood pressure, we can have strokes – this is a health and wellbeing issue. It is about equality, social inclusion and bringing more older people into town.
“The reason that toilets are closing is councils do not get any financial support from government to do it, so they have to sit down and look at costs.
“I have calls coming into me from councils saying ‘how do we close down all our toilets’. Councils really want to provide these facilities, they really want to have them but commercially and economically they can’t afford to do it.”
No matter the impact of government cuts, we’ll continue providing high-quality washrooms to our clients. For more information, click here.