Portsmouth toilet petition falls on deaf ears at council chamber

Toilets in South Parade, Southsea
Toilets in South Parade, Southsea

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A BID to reverse Portsmouth City Council’s decision to close some of its public toilets has failed.

The Conservative party collected more than 1,100 signatures on a petition and called upon the council to consider introducing a small charge or cutting other areas of expenditure.

The council has closed two of its 25 loos and another nine are due to shut by the end of October as it cuts the public convenience budget by £200,000.

Cllr Luke Stubbs said: ‘It’s something that particularly affects the elderly, disabled and families with children.’

Cllr Frank Jonas added: ‘It’s a shame we are cutting public toilets when we hope to be a city of culture.’

But Lib Dem council leaders, taking advice from the British Toilet Association, said usage could fall by more than half if charging were introduced and each site would need £25,000 just to install charging systems.

Cllr Mike Hancock said: ‘How many people who signed the petition realised we were spending £545,000 a year on public loos?’