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Brighton Journal | 11th December 2019

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Council Plans for £1.1 Million Toilet Refurbishment Rejected

Council Plans for £1.1 Million Toilet Refurbishment Rejected
Hannah Midgley

The council’s proposal for a £1.1 million refurbishment of Brighton and Hove’s public toilets, which included introducing payments of 30p to eleven more of the city’s toilets, were rejected, amidst councillor claims that charging would “cheapen” our city to tourists.

The refurbishment plans outlined the council’s intent to transform and modernise the city centre’s 37 public toilets, with the much criticised Royal Pavilion Gardens site at the top of the list. Despite support from deputy council leader, Councillor Gill Mitchell, the plans were rejected and the council now look for a further report.

In Thursday’s meeting, where the proposals were rejected, it was claimed that introducing the 30p payment to some toilets around town would allow the council to avoid closing down any of the facilities. They also claimed that all money that would have been generated by the new charges would have been put directly back into the upkeep of public toilets around the city.

However, the plans were met with much criticism from Brighton locals. One disgruntled resident voiced her annoyance on Facebook, by commenting “Isn’t this what we pay our council tax for? I really begrudge having to pay to go to the loo, which is a basic human right.”

Another angry Facebook user voiced their opinion on how charging to use a toilet discriminates against Brighton’s homeless population: “What do you do if you’re homeless, or struggling for money and need a wee?”

Councillor Peltzer Dunn was the first to oppose the proposals, who said: ‘I think that we have a product in this city, of attracting tourists. Last year we had 11.2 million tourists, so therefore this is product, and we are marketing our city […] I think by charging we are actually cheapening our city.” He also went on to highlight how a report on the proposals outlined how having to pay for the use of a public toilet may have a serious detrimental effect on people with health issues, who will now be more concerned about leaving their homes to visit the city centre.

To see the full decision, please visit the council website.

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