Changes to public toilets in Spalding and Holbeach on the cards as report recommends new 20p charge
A shake-up of public toilets in Spalding and Holbeach could see one closed and the others turned into automatic locking cubicles with a 20p charge for use.
Vine Street toilets has been recommended for closure, while other toilets in both towns would be turned into individual cubicles, according to a report to be considered by South Holland District Council members at a meeting on Wednesday night.
The report goes on to estimate the cost of upgrading toilets in Spalding’s Ayscoughfee Gardens, Sheep Market and Winfrey Avenue, along with Church Street, Holbeach, would be between £70,000 and £90,000.
An alternative option of demolishing all existing toilets and replacing them with “purpose-built” ones, considered by a working group of district councillors set up in April 2018 to review public toilet provision in South Holland, appears to have been ruled out due to the work costing an estimated £100,000 for each block.
The report said: "The provision of public toilets is not a statutory duty for local authorities.
"However, it is clear that there is public demand for them and the residents/visitors we have consulted have clearly stated that they would like to see them continue and for the quality of them to be improved."
The report's findings are based on a public survey which found that just over half of those who responded thought the cleanliness of toilets in Spalding was either poor or not very good.
A majority of respondents also wanted the toilets to be open during the evenings, despite fears that it could draw drug users and lead to disorder.
As a result, 85 per cent of those who took part in the survey said they would be willing to pay 20p to use a public toilet.
The report said: "Whilst there has been an increase in the number of times the toilets are cleaned, and the introduction of a deep cleaning schedule for all toilets, residents and visitors still reported that the cleanliness of toilets was lacking.
"Given that additional cleaning is not making the toilets more attractive to users, research has been undertaken to understand the best options for investment in the toilets."