max temp: 11°C

min temp: 6°C


Where to spend a penny or two in East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 13:17 19 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:17 19 August 2018

The public toilet block at Beccles Quay. Picture: Nick Butcher

The public toilet block at Beccles Quay. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of judging public toilets for excellence and, at the other end of the scale, for ghastliness. The best and worst were awarded Boggies.

Consequently, I feel well-placed to offer an opinion on the paucity of public loos in our town centres. There was a time when they were readily available but today, many are gone and those that aren’t gone are consequently serving much a much larger lavatory-needing public.

Following a Freedom of Information request, the BBC has compiled a map showing how local authorities have approached provision of public WCs. In East Anglia, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Ipswich get the plaudits having three more public toilets than in 2010 (sometimes data for years up to 2013 was used). Other coastal councils including Waveney, Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk, and Tendring have fewer and across Suffolk and Norfolk, in Norwich and most inland councils, there has been no change. North Essex has lost a number of loos, notably, Uttlesford which used to have one and now has none. I’m told, however, there is one in the town centre of Saffron Walden (is it the town council’s?).

Yes, many stores have a ladies’ and gents’ and baby-changing but here again, what if you’re in town after the shops shut? In summer, it is not unusual to see families out and about in towns and cities during the evenings. Where are you supposed to take a child whose need is immediate?

My finer sensibilities tell me that no one is keen to use a public toilet so it tends to be a matter of urgency. On holiday in Italy, we visited a town where anyone could use restaurant toilets for free − no purchase necessary.

I’m not keen on the pay-to-use pavement cubicles that clean themselves after a use but rather this than nothing at all. Of all the basic human needs, going to the loo is the one that cannot be ignored for too long... not without employing special techniques - leg crossing, avoiding contact with running water, distraction methods etc. Excuse me... all that talking about it... I have to go

Two Ipswich residents have been left with bills of more than £1,000 between them after subjecting their neighbours to late-night, high-volume music by Status Quo and Natalie Imbruglia.

Police were unable to act on five cases of adults having sex with teenagers in their care over the last four years due to a legal loophole, the NSPCC has revealed.

Eagle-eyed shoppers will have noticed that the former Grimwade’s store in Ipswich town centre is fast transforming, and Pret A Manger will soon be opening their first store in town.

An Ipswich teenager representing the town at the UK’s Youth Parliament has called for more action on knife crime during a debate in the House of Commons.

A crunch summit between Shotley Pier stakeholders is being held to try and decide on the plans for the future of the Suffolk tourist attraction.

Table tennis, jamaoke sessions and a ‘Quizzee Rascal Wednesday’ are all on offer at new Waterfront bar Wiff Waff opening tonight (Friday).

The new-look Cornhill will host thousands of people next week for the Ipswich Town Hall Christmas lights switch on.

If you are a parent of a three or four year old you will have received a letter from Suffolk County Council about school places this week. But what do you do next?

A motorist was stopped in Ipswich after vehicle checks found the car not to have a valid MOT.

Ice skating has become a staple tradition for many families at Christmas and pop-up ice rinks are set to appear everywhere from Felixstowe, where skating is free, to Newmarket.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24