Britain’s toilet crisis as councils to pay pubs and cafes to open loos to public

Brits need to join forces to stop public loos going down the pan.

Some 2,500 were shut down across the country over the past five years.

Bog tzar Raymond Martin is worried we will be caught short unless there is a call of nature call to arms.

Mr Martin, managing director of the British Toilet Association, said businesses must band together and open their conveniences to the public.

Under the Community Toilets Scheme, councils pay pubs and cafes and even churches and health centres to allow their WCs to be used by non-customers.

Mr Martin said: “Lots of councils up and down the country are trying to keep the toilets as best they can with very, very limited resources.

“We’re worried about people.

“Families with young children, older people, people with disabilities, and you’re talking to 20million people who fall into that register.

“They all need toilets if they’re going to go about their daily business.”

As government funding for public toilets comes from other budgets and is not specifically ringfenced, councils are realising their duty to keep them open is only a moral one.

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The cost of running a toilet can reach up to £15,000 every year.

There were believed to be just 4,500 public toilets in the UK in 2018, down from 5,100 in 2010. It means its estimated that around 2,500 have been axed in the last five years.

Mr Martin added: “Traditionally we have had free toilets in this country because people have demanded free toilets as a human rights.

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“It leaves the council in an impossible state because there’s no funding from government.

“How do you find 15 grand to run a toilet block?”

But Mr Martin says closing loos can have a serious effect on the area’s economy, with tourists seeking out areas where facilities are more plentiful.

He said since 2015, a staggering number of public loos have shut.

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“We reckon we’ve lost at least 50 per cent,” he said “If not up to 60 per cent of all the available toilets because a lot of them have been sold off, closed locked down and sold off to be bars and cafes.”

Richmond, in south-west-London was a founder of the community toilets scheme. A spokesman for the Red Cow pub, which is part of the scheme said: “People are always thankful to use the toilet.”

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