Portsmouth Tories step up bid to save city’s loos going down pan

Councillor Luke Stubbs

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A CAMPAIGN to stop the closure of public toilets in Portsmouth has stepped up a gear.

Deputy Conservative group leader Cllr Luke Stubbs will present a petition containing 1,100 signatures against the changes at full council on Tuesday.

Cllr Stubbs spent a week going round collecting names.

Toilets at Marsden Road and Hilsea Lido closed on Monday and another 10 in College Park, Highland Road, Clarkes Road, Lower Drayton Lane, Bransbury Park, Milton Park, Paradise Street, South Parade Kiosk, Castle Field and White Hart Road will go by October 31.

As previously reported in The News, the move is part of the council’s plans to save £200,000 from the budget.

A public consultation into the proposal provoked reaction from 996 residents.

Cllr Stubbs said all the closures could be reversed and money could be saved if people paid a small amount each time they visited.

‘There are two million visitors to Portsmouth’s public toilets at the moment,’ he said.

‘The amount of money which could be raised from a charge is quite significant.

‘We would have a decent source of revenue.

‘This is one of the core assets the public expect.

‘When I went around visiting people, a lot of them said that if these closures happened they would find it very difficult to go out.

‘It’s a very serious issue. It would prevent people from visiting areas.

‘You can see the council thinks that by the fact the Castle Field toilets are going to remain open throughout the summer.

‘The reason for that is because the council know they will be used, seeing as they won’t be there next year.’

Councillor Eleanor Scott, cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: ‘The full council budget in terms of loos was not opposed by the Tories or Labour. They did not come up with an alternative.

‘Council officers have said that their solution of just charging people to use loos would not work because in some of these toilets you can’t fit charging mechanisms or turnstiles.’

The meeting at Portsmouth Guildhall starts at 2pm.