UTTOXETER’S award-winning toilets will be closed on Sundays and two hours earlier during the week, it has been announced.
Paul Costiff, East Staffordshire Borough Council’s head of built environment, revealed the news to Uttoxeter Town Council’s full council meeting last week following a consultation on conveniences across the borough.
He said that the Bradley Street toilets are a very strong asset to the town and a high profile public convenience which is of a consistently high standard and quality.
However, the toilets will now close on Sundays from December 12 and will close at 5pm on Mondays to Saturdays.
Currently they are open until 7pm every day.
Mr Costiff told the meeting the toilets were originally unmanned and later became manned due to some social issues.
The staff currently work until 8pm and the cost of the convenience is £75,000.
It attracts 5,000 visitors each week, with higher numbers on market days and lower visitors on Sundays.
As of December 12, two members of staff will work on a two shift system and the convenience will be re-decorated and improved, with an annual deep cleanse carried out by a private company.
The Trinity Road toilets will not be so lucky as they will be closed completely once the JCB site has been redeveloped.
Councillor Hermione Montgomery asked the council officer if there was any alterative to the Sunday closure, maybe if they were unmanned.
This was echoed by Councillor Alan Noyes who pointed out they were trying to promote shopping in Uttoxeter so closing the toilets would cause problems for this and also Cathy Graham who pointed out their use by bus and taxi drivers.
Mr Costiff said the authority would be uncomfortable having the toilets open unmanned and said alterative arrangements for public service drivers should be provided by their employers and not out of the tax payers’ money.
He added that the changes were not about saving money, saying: “We are looking at what we offer in the borough, it is not about cost.
“It is very much about improving what we offer, looking at when they are used and the statistical data. The council has taken the decision they will close at this time as they are not offering value for money.”
When asked about the Trinity Road toilets getting a deep clean while they are still open, Mr Costiff said he would look into it.
The council was reassured the toilets will still be open until late on Cracker Night, the day after the plans come into affect, and they can apply for them to be open on particular events.