Businesses are being invited to work with Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils to establish Community Toilet Schemes in both districts. The Councils wish to ensure that main town centres, key tourism locations and large parks have an adequate provision of public conveniences. As a result, this will give town and parish councils the ability to directly manage and maintain facilities in their areas.
The plans for the Community Toilet Schemes, which were agreed by Babergh Cabinet and Mid Suffolk Cabinet at their meetings this week, highlight the importance for access to public conveniences, particularly for older people, families with young children, people with disabilities or particular health issues as well as visitors to the area. The Councils will discuss with businesses the opportunities for mutual benefits that participating in the scheme can bring.
Both councils will be willing to listen to interested local organisations who wish to take over toilets that the councils currently run, and they will also ensure that the provision or refurbishment of toilets will form part of regeneration or development plans. Babergh District Council will be investing £13,000 to carry out basic repairs and improvements to the existing toilets.
Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Margaret Maybury, said: “Some older people or people with health conditions may not wish to leave their homes without the reassurance that they will have easy access to public conveniences. A Community Toilet Scheme within the district has potential to reduce isolation by enabling them to plan more trips out with the knowledge that facilities are available.
We would like to hear from businesses, including pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops who would be willing to allow the public to use their toilets during usual opening hours without needing to make a purchase.”
Mid Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr David Burn, said: “Public conveniences matter to everybody, particularly older people and those with limited mobility who will benefit most from the Community Toilet Scheme. We will be running our scheme in partnership with local businesses and the town and parish councils to help support tourism and the local economy.”
The new Community Toilet Schemes will complement the existing public convenience provision and forms part of a new Public Conveniences Policy, which sets out guidelines for Councils’ decisions on existing and future provision of public toilets.