Conservatives pan council for closing more public toilets

Posted On 11 Oct 2022 at 7:06 pm

Councillor Robert Nemeth outside the closed King’s Esplanade toilets on Hove seafront

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
  • Greenleas

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

Click here to read what the journalist and campaigner Jean Calder had to say on the situation just last week.

  1. ChrisC Reply

    More fake outrage from the Tories.

    Note they don’t offer up any solutions.

    • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

      The solutions are so obvious that they don’t need spelling out. The council should do these basic things, which are not at all expensive by comparison with the huge wastage on vanity projects and duplicated/unwanted cycle lanes etc etc – and we now have this mysterious £13m overspend on ‘town hall costs’, which is as yet unexplained. One could ask what on earth any average council taxpayer gets for their money (nothing much is the answer) and why, when most council employees seem to have been WFH for a very long time, there is a £13m overspend, which would have paid for the basics that they don’t do several times over. This is not about political parties, but council incompetence.

    • Helen Reply

      Seems to me when a Tory councillor’s actually do their job and question basic requirements or challenge a council policy morons always come out with some stupid ill thought out comment.

  2. John French Reply

    It’s disgusting. What about the dis-abled and OAPs
    Total lack of care. Shows what a load of wankers we have in control. Totally dis-organised and lack of planning. I spent all my working life in management and things had to happen!
    Maybe we should pay if we want a pristine service?

    • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

      You are right, John. Only twice in my very long time here have I been in a Brighton public toilet. Early on. in Pavilion Gardens and it was pretty disgusting even back then. I have avoided them ever since. However, as a very brief ray of light, I have a friend who used to visit me very frequently and she has a medical issue which requires regular visits to a toilet, and her experience was very mixed, to say the least. But, if you gotta go, then you gotta go. So, one time, I was standing outside this seafront public toilet probably in Hove, but I don’t know where the B&H ‘border’ is exactly, while she ‘went’ and she called me in to look. There was an attendant on the premises – a fantastic young Eastern European lady – who had kept the facilities totally immaculate and took such a pride in the place that there were real flowers in pots on the window sills. She spoke great English, wWe congratulated her, she was delighted. Sadly, next time my friend went there, the lady had gone and the place had deteriorated. The message to this rotten council is as follows. How much money does it take to keep a public toilet in decent order and hopefully hire an attendant on decent wages to keep the place clean and tidy? Not anything like as much as this mysterious £13m overspend on ‘town hall costs’, obviously.

      By contrast, Seaford has free public toilets very conveniently sited on the seafront promenade and, although I haven’t been in them, another friend thought they were fine and didn’t seem to have an issue with them. Not rocket science, is it!

      taq os

  3. Mike Beasley Reply

    Cycle lanes are the priority. Everything else doesn’t matter.
    Welcome to BHCC… woke, broke and a joke.
    Special measures now.

    • Phoebe Barrera Reply

      But they have just announced £8m of spending on biodiversity schemes with no defined benefits.

      And we also have a vital council communications department with 25 staff + a director in charge of spreading pro-council propaganda.

      But the incompetent Greens can’t maintain toilets or keep pavements free of weeds, and it’s all the fault of the government spending cuts 🙄

  4. Robert Pattinson Reply

    Always blame staff shortages, but the council soon found guys to go up and down the beach fining families having a BBQ. The Police should ignore people having a pee as the facilities are closed. The toilet next to the King Alfred is never cleaned properly. The city looks so run down, hopefully the cold weather will kill some of the weeds off in the council.

  5. sd Reply

    Disgusting. If the toilets at The Level are shutting, The Open Market toilets must be open to the public – not locked.

  6. vintage fan Reply

    Well highlighted Coun Nemeth.
    So the inept council’s solution to sub standard public toilets such as the Pavilion Gardens is to close them completely
    So basically there are now no public toilets at all in central Brighton, nearest being on the seafront, that’s up to 15 minutes walk from areas such as North Laine
    A disgrace
    Greens out – wait till 2023

  7. Rostrum Reply

    So there will be NO public toilets in the city south of the Level. Pathetic.

    • vintagefan Reply

      There’s none at the Level as that’s closed too!

  8. Chris Reply

    I would love to say I am surprised, but even that eludes me. Until the Green jokers are gone this place will continue to be expensive and poor.
    I would love to think that we had a council that was pro-environment but seemingly this is not so. Sham !

  9. Chris Reply

    My wife just commented that many homeless rely upon these places. A basic human right…
    Followed by “Brighton will not only look like a s**thole but it will actually be one now”

  10. Mick Reply

    Staff shortages – would you work for them?

  11. Robin Hislop Reply

    Tory central government cuts local authority funding for a decade. Then Tory councillor complains when services are closed. Duh!

    • mart Burt Reply

      Robin Hislop
      Lets stop with this myth that BHCC have had cuts to their budgets.
      They haven’t had ‘cuts’ they’ve had smaller increases than they wanted, and that is on the councils own website.
      All over the country councils have received smaller increases in their budgets, yet most appear capable of providing basic service’s, why can’t BHCC ?
      Lets remind ourselves that we owe £36 Million on a loan for the i360, where does that come from?
      How much time and money was wasted by BHCC on council meetings that debated events going on in a court in the USA, a nuclear programme and a International climate meeting, none of which are anything to do with local councillors as they would have little input and hardly in a position to change the world.
      The list of wasted funding goes on and on.
      What’s more important, sorting out the toilets or stupid vanity badges because Johnny wants to known as a tree?

      • Robin Hislop Reply

        When you say “myth”, you mean “a fact that don’t fit into my worldview”. Here’s the conclusion of the IFS study into local authority funding: “Government funding for local authorities has fallen by an estimated 49.1% in real terms from 2010–11 to 2017–18. This equates to a 28.6% real-terms reduction in ‘spending power’” –

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