Wirral’s public toilets are under threat following central government cuts to the council budget which must see £20 million of savings made in order to balance the books.
In response, council officers have put forward a number of proposals, including getting rid of Wirral’s remaining public lavatories.
But New Brighton Labour councillor Tony Jones is leading a campaign to keep the vital facilities open, and is asking that the four sites currently open – on Dee Lane, West Kirby, Meols Parade Gardens, Hoylake, Leasowe Common, and Harrison Drive in New Brighton are maintained, as a minimum.
“These are vital facilities for local residents and for visitors who might travel from other parts of Wirral and further afield,” explains Cllr Jones, who also serves as a volunteer lifeboatman.
“I’ve lived and worked in New Brighton for 40 years and worked along the coastal zone with the lifeboat. These faculties are well-used, and they give access to the coast for families, older people and those with disabilities who might need to be able to access a toilet quickly.
“We want people to come and enjoy days out on our beautiful coastal zone, but to do that, we need to provide facilities for them.”Cllr Jones has asked officers to look again at the proposals, and to see if there could be an option to ask businesses to sponsor a lavatory each, or to look at putting advertising boards on them to generate revenue.
“These are busy areas, used by lots of people, in some cases with thousands of cars passing each day, so I’ve asked if there could be an option for businesses to advertise on them and then to have that money ring-fenced towards their upkeep,” he says.
“It’s not a glamorous campaign, I appreciate, but it is an important one and something that we will continue to fight.”