Hundreds sign petitions about public toilets in Brighton and Hove

Two petitions have been started in response to concerns about the provision of public toilets in Brighton and Hove.

One calls for a refurbishment of the toilets in Preston Park and the other seeks the reopening of the toilets in the Royal Pavilion Gardens.

Both petitions want Brighton and Hove City Council to operate public toilets to a proper standard.

The council has closed the Pavilion Gardens toilets for the next six months to save money and because of staff shortages.

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It has also shut toilets in Blaker’s Park, Easthill Park, Queen’s Park, Rottingdean Recreation Ground, Stanmer Village, The Level, Vale Park, the West Pier Arches and Wild Park for the winter season.

Three toilets, King’s Esplanade in Hove, Saltdean Undercliff and Station Road, in Portslade, are also closed for refurbishment.

A petition started by Caz Calvert on the website calls for the reopening of the Pavilion Gardens toilets.

The petition is headed Prince’s Place Toilets – adjacent to the Brighton Pavilion Gardens. It was started on Sunday 16 October and attracted more than 650 signatures in a day.

In the petition, Ms Calvert said: “The Pavilion Gardens is an important resource for the local community and not just a tourist attraction for summer visitors.

“Many older and restricted mobility residents visit the garden on a regular basis and will find it difficult to do so if there are no toilet facilities.

“The only alternatives for visitors to the gardens is to use the toilets in the museum, for local residents, or to walk to the Jubilee library. This is not practical for many people.

“I live locally and have been a regular user of the Pavilion Gardens for over 40 years.

“I rely on a mobility scooter. Without suitable toilet facilities, I am no longer able to visit the gardens which are a very special place for me.”

She hopes to present her petition at the meeting of the full council which is due to take place on Thursday (20 October).

The Royal Pavilion Gardens public toilets

Another petition, on the council’s website, was started on Friday 7 October and has attracted more than 700 signatures in 10 days, calling for a complete revamp of the Preston Park toilets.

The petition, headed Refurbishment of the toilets in Preston Park, said: “As the largest park in the city, it is used daily by a great number of people.

“As the ‘People’s Park’, it is used not only by those who live locally but also by a great number of external visitors.

“It hosts many events and is home to several sports clubs. People of all ages use the facilities, including those who visit to admire the magnificent historical landscape.

“Yet, what lets our park down are the appalling unsanitary, unclean and embarrassing conditions of the toilet areas.

“Visitors are visibly shocked and regular users are fed up and angry that they are not being listened to when they ask for something to be done.

Preston Park

“Often, the toilets are shut as they are not safe and dirtier than usual. When this happens, the public often resorts to using the park itself as a toilet. This is a health hazard that needs to be addressed.

“We are asking that funds are found to demolish and refurbish the toilet facilities.

“The renewal of these toilets will provide a much-needed asset to the city in terms of maintaining the essential sanitary conditions needed to keep the city safe and free from certain diseases.

“It will also demonstrate to the community that the council is listening to, and taking account of, its residents and their needs.”

The Preston Park petition is due to close on Monday 16 January.

The council was criticised for bringing in reduced winter opening hours at the Preston Park and Hove Park toilets. The parks host the Saturday morning 5km parkruns and the Sunday morning junior parkruns.

Since runners were unexpectedly caught short by the change, the council has resumed opening the toilets at 8am at weekends, giving runners time to use the facilities before they start running at 9am.

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

The Hove Prom parkrun is currently without a toilet because the King’s Esplanade block is closed for refurbishment.

The issue is expected to be a hot topic when the full council meets on Thursday.

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth has submitted a written question asking why almost half the council’s public toilets are closed. He also wants a timetable for refurbishment.

Fellow Conservative Carol Theobald is also expected to ask about public toilets at the meeting at Hove Town Hall.

The meeting is due to start at 4.30pm, starting with public engagement. It is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

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