The Conservatives have criticised the council for closing 17 of the 57 public toilet blocks in Brighton and Hove until next Easter.
The Tories said: “It is unacceptable that Brighton and Hove City Council is set to close almost a third of its public toilets over the course of the next six months.”
The winter closures took effect from the start of this month and run until Good Friday – Friday 7 April 2023.
The Conservatives said: “The council has said the measures are needed to ‘effectively manage the public toilet budget’ and because of ‘lack of staff’.
“The closures include major facilities such as the Royal Pavilion Gardens and West Pier Arches and The Level.
“Basic services are not being provided.”
Councillor Robert Nemeth, who speaks for the Conservatives on the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said that he would raise the matter when the full council meets next Thursday (20 October).
Councillor Nemeth said: “Public toilets are one of the most basic services for a local council to provide and there needs to be a proper explanation as to why the council is closing so many.
“Public toilets were already under-provided and in a poor state across the city prior to this announcement.
“There had been recurring stories in the local newspaper all summer of the long queues to use the sparse facilities along the Hove Esplanade.
“These new closures have not been properly explained by the council and there has not been any compensatory facilities put in place.
“Other councils are managing their budgets better and keeping their public toilets open and in good condition all year round despite the circumstances.
“Brighton and Hove City Council is classified as a high-taxing local authority and charges some of the highest council tax rates in the country.
“Residents should be receiving a much better service for their high council tax contributions.
“They are already not receiving reliable rubbish collections or having their pavements cleared of weeds. This is another issue that will grate with many.”
Four toilet blocks usually close over the winter. They are
- Black Rock
- Dalton’s Bastion
- Hollingbury Park
Three toilet blocks are closed while awaiting refurbishment. They are
- King’s Esplanade
- Saltdean Undercliff
- Station Road (Portslade)
And 10 newly announced closures have been added to the list. They are
- Blaker’s Park
- Easthill Park
- Queen’s Park
- Rottingdean Recreation Ground
- Royal Pavilion Gardens
- Stanmer Village
- The Level
- Vale Park
- West Pier Arches
- Wild Park
The Conservatives said: “This means that 30 per cent of Brighton and Hove City Council’s 57 public toilet facilities will be closed over the next six months.”
Councillor Nemeth added: “I will be raising this matter at the full council meeting next Thursday and asking the chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee to
- Provide a further explanation as to why Brighton and Hove City Council is closing so many of its public toilets over the next six months
- Advise if any other measures will be put in place to compensate for the closures and
- Outline which public toilets are due to be upgraded over the next 12 months and whether this includes the notorious Pavilion Gardens toilets.”
Full details of current opening times are available on the public toilets pages on the council website at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/public-toilets.
Click here to read what the journalist and campaigner Jean Calder had to say on the situation just last week.