Brighton and Hove to charge 30p to use pubic loos

Toilets at Peter Pan's playground in Madeira Drive
Toilets at Peter Pan's playground in Madeira Drive

Charges will come in at 11 public toilets to help pay for improvements to loos across Brighton and Hove.

The toilets in the Royal Pavilion Gardens, in Brighton, are due to benefit first from the income stream.

The fee for a pee is the result of a new contract between Brighton and Hove City Council and a company called Healthmatic.

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The new 30p charge was accepted by the council’s policy, resources and growth committee when it met at Hove Town Hall on Thursday (October 11).

Healthmatic has committed £602,000 to upgrading public toilets in Brighton and Hove with a further £550,000 budgeted by the council.

Labour councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “This is a good way of putting the service on a sustainable footing.

“It will enable us to gain income through charging for 11 toilets.

“It does mean Pavilion Gardens is first on the list for refurbishment.”

Conservative councillor Tony Janio had concerns about charges being included in the Healthmatic contract.

He said: “It may have affected our decision to approve the contract in the first place.”

Cllr Janio said that he could not recall the switch to charging being part the tendering process.

But the council’s executive director of economy, environment and culture Nick Hibberd said that all the bidders were invited to tender, with income to go towards the cost of refurbishing toilets as part of the deal.

Conservative councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn called for better provision for women as they were usually poorly served by public toilets.

He said: “We all know ladies do take a bit longer and we’ve all seen the queues outside the ladies’ loos. There should be a better provision for ladies.”

Labour councillor Emma Daniel was unimpressed by the suggestion that women took longer but Cllr Peltzer Dunn said that this was because there were too few toilets for them.

Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “I hope we are liaising with the homeless shelters to make sure the homeless get a pass or something to enable them to use the toilet.

“There needs to be a system where the homeless have access to a toilet without charge.”

Mr Hibberd said that each site would be considered for equalities and access on an individual basis.

The public already have to pay to use the toilets at the West Pier Arches.

The other 10 toilets where charges are to be brought in are at Black Rock, Goldstone Villas, Hove Lagoon, the King Alfred, King’s Esplanade, Lower Promenade East, Lower Promenade West, Peter Pan’s Playground, the Royal Pavilion Gardens, the Colonnade and Western Esplanade.

Councillors voted seven to three in favour of the 30p charge and for City Environmental Management to pay up to £550,000 towards refurbishment costs.

Sarah Booker-Lewis is the Local Democracy Reporter for Brighton & Hove.

For more of her stories, click here.