Future of public toilets in Bridgend to be decided next week

(© Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.)

Following the decision to cut bus subsidies (though some were given a last-minute reprieve – more here), BCBC’s Cabinet is to decide on the future of public toilets in Bridgend county next week (pdf).

New duties will be placed on local councils to provide public toilets in the Public Health Act 2017, but these requirements haven’t come into force yet (as far as I know). BCBC set an aim of finding £100,000 in savings from the public toilet budget.

Just over 1,100 people responded to the public consultation earlier this year, and special events were held with groups representing the disabled and elderly.

An overwhelming 95% of respondents supported the continuation of public toilets in Maesteg, Bridgend and Porthcawl, with a minimum of two fully-attended facilities per town. 52% of respondents were also willing to pay up to 20p to use a toilet and 54% supported the “comfort scheme” where local businesses make their toilets available to the public, not just customers and staff.

There are ongoing discussions and negotiations surrounding the transfer of public toilets to town and community councils.

Here’s a summary of the report’s recommendations:

Bridgend

  • Bridgend Bus Station – The toilets will become pay-to-use (50p) with payment by cash and card.
  • Cheapside – The future of the Cheapside toilets is uncertain. Talks are currently underway with the owners of the Bridgend/Brackla Street Shopping Centre to redevelop the area and the toilets could be included in those plans. If, however, nothing happens the Cheapside toilets are earmarked for closure (with the public directed to ASDA or other local businesses under the “comfort scheme”.).
  • Civic Offices, Angel Street – Toilets in the reception will be made available for the public to use.

Maesteg

  • New public toilets will be provided in the redeveloped Maesteg Town Hall, so the existing bus station toilets will close. In the meantime, Maesteg Town Council will be offered the chance to take charge of the toilets; if they decline, the toilets will close and businesses will be approached to join the “comfort scheme” until the new toilets open.

Porthcawl

  • John Street & Griffin Park – The preferred option is for these toilets to be transferred to Porthcawl Town Council. The transfer process for Griffin Park is already underway. As in Maesteg, if there’s no agreement with the town council, the toilets would close and be replaced with the “comfort scheme”.
  • Rest Bay – New toilets in the proposed Rest Bay centre will be “pay-as-you-use” like Bridgend Bus Station – presumably 50p again.
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