£500,000 on Felixstowe's public toilets
PUBLISHED: 21:26 18 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010
AN independent quality inspector has welcomed moves to improve an area's public toilets - including a block at Felixstowe branded "a disgrace to the town".
AN independent quality inspector has welcomed moves to improve an area's public toilets – including a block at Felixstowe branded "a disgrace to the town".
Councillors have decided the time has come to spend more than a penny on its loos and will be splashing out more than £500,000 over the next five years.
Top priority for renovation will be the lavatories at Bath Tap on Felixstowe seafront, which have been labelled as "absolutely abominable" and are used for anti-social behaviour.
It is hoped the work will be carried out before next year's summer season.
An inspector from the Best Value Inspection Service (BVIS) visited a number of Suffolk Coastal council's public toilets to assess how the authority is looking after the facilities.
Edwina Child, acting lead inspector for the BVIS, said there were "reasonable levels of satisfaction" among the public and welcomed the council's plans to improve cleanliness.
"I am confident that the actions within the plan will lead to improvements in the service," she said.
The council has 37 different public conveniences across the district, considerably more than most councils, and its total costs are lower than the average.
Its five-year upgrading project is based on newly-adopted quality standards based on guidance from the British Toilet Association.
The association says public toilets are the "shop window" for any area and make a first and lasting impression on visitors.
It campaigns for high standards of public or "away from home" toilets in all areas, including councils, locations, health, education, transport, leisure, shops, and for adequate numbers of toilets, and the eradication of all types of social misuse and vandalism.
Patricia O'Brien, Suffolk Coastal's Cabinet member for health and safety, said the BVIS report showed the council is meeting its commitment to improve services while ensuring that they are still value for money.
"An improvement plan is under way, and I am confident that residents and visitors will see real improvements over the coming years," she added.
Toilet blocks will be brought up to an agreed set of standards. This will include ensuring each has hot and cold running water, soap dispensers, baby changing facilities, and disabled access.