Four public toilets to close as Newham Council approves community scheme

Businesses are being asked to help provide toilets for the public

Businesses are being asked to help provide toilets for the public Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Have you ever been caught short but felt reluctant to use a pub or cafe toilet without purchasing something?

The new community toilet scheme is set to change all that, with businesses invited to agree to open their toilets to members of the public in exchange for a grant to keep their facilities clean and well-stocked.

The plans, approved by cabinet members last night, will also see council premises including libraries and community centres become part of the scheme.

Businesses that sign up will display prominent signs welcoming people to use their toilets and be subject to regular inspections.

The council will ensure each area has adequate facilities for disabled users and baby changing.

The scheme is being introduced after a public consultation and will replace four public toilet blocks - two on Romford Road, at the junction of Woodgrange Road and Herbert Road, and two in High Street North, at the junction of Clements Road and in St John’s car park.

The facilities at Queen’s Market will remain open, as will the public toilets in the borough’s parks.

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Mayoral adviser for the environment, Cllr Pat Murphy, said: “This is a smart solution which will deliver good, safe, and easily accessible toilets that residents need throughout the whole of Newham.

“People who are currently reluctant to use facilities belonging to businesses will be clearly sign-posted to those that welcome them.

“For the businesses it is a great opportunity to attract extra potential customers through the door.

“The idea of the community toilet scheme has already proved a great success in other London boroughs.

“We will now be working closely with the local business community to encourage them to join up.”

The changes are expected to save the council up to £96,400 per year.

None of the existing facilities will close until the community toilet scheme is running in the surrounding area.

Any businesses interested in joining the scheme should email or call Vlademir Pinto on 020 3373 4294.