Cleanzine-logo-10a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 22nd June 2017 Issue no. 779

Your industry news - first    Number 1 for Recruitment

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Nothing quite underlines the fact that having decent, accessible washrooms in town centres is good for tourism and business, as the news recently of a coach firm saying it will give Newbury town centre, Berkshire, a miss when it comes to stopovers, as a result of the council closing two of its public toilets!

Up to 1,000 coach passengers a week will now no longer be stopping at the town for lunch and other refreshments or to do some shopping, as the coach company says it will be finding somewhere else to stop over in future. And that’s just one company. Just imagine the figures if other coach operators follow suit – as well as other people who’d normally spend the day (and their money) in Newbury but who will now decide to ‘go’ elsewhere…

I know it costs money to keep public toilets open, clean and stocked, but the knock-on effect on local businesses that suffer as a result of closures, impacts on their ability to pay their rents and rates and thus reduces a council’s income. Local businesses without enough income, eventually have to close down themselves, don’t they? Boarded up shops don’t do anything for a town’s image and once the rot sets in, it can be downhill all the way from then on in…

Some of the forum comments that have gone up, following the news, show that people are, generally, frustrated by the closures – and obviously this isn’t all just about Newbury but about public facilities the UK over. Some overseas posters are saying that the UK’s the worst in Europe when it comes to decent public toilet provision. Many posters are saying they’ll use other town centres instead, while some are admitting that they’re finding it harder to go out anywhere for the day, as the lack of public facilities – particularly as they get older – is keeping them in their homes.

It’s being suggested that visitors to Newbury use the library’s facilities but I understand that these are not near the coach stop-off points and will likely involve queuing. Not exactly a ‘public convenience’ then…

I do hope that before the two blocks that have been shut down are sold to developers and turned into housing, the council considers installing turnstiles and charging people, say 10p or even 20p to use them. The money will soon add up…

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Yours,

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Jan Hobbs

28th April 2016




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