Six more public toilets to close across Brighton and Hove

Posted On 03 Feb 2016 at 7:00 pm

Six more public toilets are to close across Brighton and Hove, in proposals shared with councillors today (Wednesday 3 February).

Other toilets are to close at quieter times or have shared attendants as Brighton and Hove City Council tries to cut the £850,000 a year cost of spending a penny.

The proposals recommend closing the toilets in the next financial year, which starts in April. They are in

  • The Preston Park Rotunda
  • Station Road, Portslade
  • Victoria Road, Portslade
  • Greenleas, Hangleton
  • Park Road, Rottingdean
  • The Saltdean Oval
  • Officials looked at where the nearest alternative toilets were, councillors were told.

Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn pointed out an error in the official report on the subject and said that the author had been caught short.

Nine other public toilets are expected to close for the winter and some will remain open only at weekends and bank holidays during the winter.

Others will open for fewer hours all year round, share an attendant or have an attendant for fewer hours.

Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn

Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn

Toilets have been opened at The Level, the Open Market and in the seafront arches close to the i360 and West Pier.

At the arches site a trial to charge people 30p for a pee has proved successful so far, councillors were told. Fees and gates could be installed at other sites.

The changes follow the closure of toilets in The Lanes last April, which saved £40,000 a year, members of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee were told.

In previous years other toilets were closed including those in the car park opposite Hove Town Hall.

The main costs are attendants’ pay, including opening, closing and cleaning the council’s 39 toilets, plus the cost of cleaning materials and utility bills for electricity and water.

The council voted to save £160,000 last year although £120,000 of this was deferred. With £50,000 of extra savings proposed for the coming financial year, officials are looking for cuts totalling £170,000 a year. They are reviewing the Wettons contract which ends in March next year.

A survey of the toilets, many of which are old and in poor repair, indicated a need to spend £1.5 million over the next ten years to bring them up to an acceptable standard.

The proposed closure of the toilets at the Rotunda café in Preston Park attracted some opposition although there are toilets near by at the Chalet café.

Councillor Lee Wares said: “It seems wrong to close toilets that we spent tens of thousands of pounds on only last year.”

Councillor Lee Wares

Councillor Lee Wares

The money came from parking charges paid by drivers using Preston Park at the suggestion of residents.

Councillor Wares acknowledged that if the toilets stayed open, more would have to be spent refurbishing them.

He also criticised the cost of the Wettons contract, saying that it would be cheaper for the council to employ its own attendants.

Councillor Peltzer Dunn criticised the proposals as they currently stand, including an error in the report, and said: “You’ve been caught short – and a lot of other people will be as well.

“We have quite an elderly population in some parts of the city. I don’t think the proposals will leave us with a proper provision of service for residents and visitors alike.”

A final decision will be taken at the council’s budget meeting on Thursday 25 February.

  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    So where are the nearest alternative facilities to the ones planned to be closed:

    •The Preston Park Rotunda
    •Station Road, Portslade
    •Victoria Road, Portslade
    •Greenleas, Hangleton
    •Park Road, Rottingdean
    •The Saltdean Oval

    So us poor residents out ‘in the sticks’ have ours taken away, but The Level warranted new ‘gender neutral’ facilities that have to stay shut for half the day to stop addicts using them as shooting galleries. And then they also have facilities at the Open Market which must be less than 50yds away from The Level.

    Thank you Brighton and Hove City Council!

    • Paul Stapleton Reply

      The ones in the Open Market are paid for by the market, with the cost being met by the traders; it costs them £30,000 a year to staff and maintain.

  2. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    The Report misses out the fact that the Council proposes to close two public lavatories on Church Road, Hove.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Where are the toilets in Church Road – or could you, by any chance, be referencing those in Hove Library that are only open when the library is open?

  3. krsty Reply

    So when using Preston park for running, walking , biking, picnics, family fun as many do where are the people meant to go ?? No where near by !!? Also it’s great families and people have started using the parks and this will effect people doing so ! Also will cause unwanted problems /saftey issues weith adults and children then having to wee in bushes !!!

  4. Sarah Reply

    There are other public toilets behind the cafe in the centre of Preston Park.

  5. Samantha Reply

    So you close the toilets in Rottingdean, where is our nearest one or do we have to pre in the sea from now on. How bloody stupid!!! Maybe you want all of us to stay indoors and use our own. What a load of crap. You are totally mad!!!!!!!!

  6. Btndve Reply

    For goodness sake, stop closing and start charging. I’d happily pay 50p. Whatever happened to those really good unisex self-cleaning things? They installed them and then removed them.

  7. Andrea Harz Reply

    My 86 year old father regularly walks around Saltdean Park. He absolutely has to use those toilets half way around. (If you’re an old man, you’ll understand) What is he supposed to to do? go in the bushes near the tennis courts and children’s play area? He’d be arrested. This is the only exercise he gets on a regular basis.
    Shameful decision.

  8. Heather Reply

    As an 8 month pregnant lady I’m absolutely gutted to hear of so much closure in and around Brighton. For someone who has spent the last 8 months needing facilities very often, I can’t imagine the discomfort these closures will cause to so many people – not just those who are pregnant, but the elderly, those who suffer for incontinence, IBS, and just simply those who wish to spend a penny on a day out! at least being pregnant restaurants and bars are quite open to letting you use their facilities, but what about everyone else? Will the council be willing to compensate restaurants and bars in those areas where facilities are closing so people can use their facilities? And then bring in charges to those more remote areas to cover costs. A bit of joined up thinking would be good.

  9. feline1 Reply

    Absolutely retarded proposal. Once this infrastructure is closed and sold off, we’ll never get it back. If our Council Tax can’t cover the cost of maintaining them, then find other ways to make them pay for themselves:
    most bleeding obviously, pay per use (like Brighton Station’s toilets).
    Have advertising in them.
    Have tesco sponsoring the loo-roll.
    Have people selling aftershave in there.
    Whatever it takes. But closing them?! #egregious

  10. Lesley Reply

    So many restaurants have toilets that say for customers use only. I work in Portslade and loads of people use the ones by the station. Where are people going to go?

  11. joel Reply

    Its not often I can say this, but for once I commend the council. Having read the full report each of the suggestions above have already been included, now its up to councillors and the council leader to approve funding or not. The propsals are good, charging, refurbishment and no closures. As a disabled person I need access regularly as many more, approve your own plans. However there will be some who say that toilets don’t come before children’s services or social care, difficult choices

  12. phill Reply

    Is the meeting they’re having on the Thursday, 25 February and meeting where anyone can go along if so where is this meeting because as a disabled resident in Portslade I would like to voice my opinion and my opinion about these closures to
    Station Road, Portslade
    Victoria Road, Portslade
    So with taking these toilets away where else are we meant to go to the toilet because if we stand out and pee up against the wall we are likely to be arrested for indecent exposure are and find for it now we all pay our council tax what the fuck are they doing with it if the closing our public amenities that we paid to use via are Council tax how about if we were to stop paying or council tax and put towards having around building for public toilets and tell the council they can’t fucking use them how would they like that would anyone be up for joining me with that or even going to this meeting there having to voice our opinions and let them know how we feel because it very discomforting when you need to go to the toilet and you have no toilets that you can use if you’re up for going to this meeting please feel free to respond on this and let me know I may even look at opening a Facebook page to stop these closures if we can get something done who would back me on this

  13. joel Reply

    The point is everyone, us as users councillors and staff are in agreement, but what gets cut instead, need a suggestion(s) before we complain, as said there are many in the report

  14. T Phillips Reply

    Lots of the community use the toilets in rottingdean, they are a godsend for parents with young children leaving or going to the two village primary schools as well as those using the facilities in the village itself. The nearest alternative toilets are on the seafront, too far to travel for many and too step to get up and down for many of our elderly. During storms it is also dangerous to be on the seafront so puts lives at risk. The next available are the ones at the playing field, again too far for many of our residents to travel too, they are in a very quiet area that often sees unwelcome visitors from the traveller community, many of the tourists visiting the area would also find them difficult to find and get to. Rather than close the toilets why not contact the local village community and ask them to take care of the toilets rather than see them close. Stop taking our services away when money is being wasted left right and centre on monstrosities such as the industrial tower and the new proposals for the king Alfred leisure centre that will as we all know just turn into yet another buy to let farce rather than benefit our community. Be creative rather than just close everything because that’s an easy option

  15. Andrew Whiley Reply

    It is disappointing that basic amenities that are taken for granted are slowly being removed. Such things as toilets are an essential necessity for civilised society. Normally society makes changes to the way we do things when there is a viable, more convenient alternative or to improve things but there is no alternative here. Close toilets and people will find alternative arrangements of their own, often in public areas that have a discreet corner.
    There are many people who have bladder problems, bowel problems, or walking disability who rely on these toilets. Closing them with no alternative solution may mean that these people will not go out. Maybe the alternative is the local cafe or restaurant but I am sure the owners would not like people just walking in to use their facilities, I have been asked for a £1 myself for doing exactly this, and they are not always open. I am Chairman of a local charity that has members that need these amenities on occasions.
    I am fully aware that we have a need to cut cost but this is not a sensible way to help achieve that. Human kind prides itself as being civilised but this type of cut is helping to return us to previous levels. Is this really acceptable?
    I will be writing to our MPS to bring this important matter to their attention.

  16. Peter Reply

    Currently what public toilets are the council selling now

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