Why pay-as-you-pee is the way to go


Wilmslow Town Council (WTC) sound like an admirable bunch to me. They are certainly doing a better job representing residents than Cheshire East who run with the hare but vote the hounds then insist there was nothing they could do.

In fact there are so many issues where they deny responsibility e.g. invading the Green Belt, ludicrous £300K pay-offs, etc I wonder why we need them at all. Apart from spending taxpayers' money nothing appears to be in their remit.

WTC on the other hand seem to have their finger on the pulse and represent voters fairly without the double-dealing we get from CEC. As far as I see they have used their limited budget carefully (maybe they still remember who's money it is?).

There is however something on the horizon that troubles me and it's incumbent of me to explain.

Suppose, just suppose you were shopping in the centre of Macclesfield and needed to use a public toilet where would you go? There are perfectly situated public toilets on Churchill Way and Park Green but they are both closed and have been for some time.

If you happen to be in Prestbury you will spot the public toilets right-slap-bang in the centre of the village. They could not be more convenient except... they are also closed.

All these facilities are in busy locations with a constant stream of pedestrians and traffic. Short of placing them outside a police station they could not be better monitored. I shall leave it to your imagination to determine why they are all closed.

Of course people need to use the loo and it is a massive inconvenience if you have to wander around town looking for one that is open to the public.

There are perfectly good facilities at the Styal end of The Carrs that have been closed forever.

So, when WTC plan to spend £100K on a new toilet block at the opposite end of The Carrs it makes me nervous. They are under pressure to resolve the toilet issue, I get that, but I can't see why the fate of this new convenience will be any different than all the other bricked-up facilities scattered throughout the borough.

Pay-as-you-pee rental toilets aren't the best but they do serve the purpose. The £78K WTC must contribute to this new scheme is a lot out of their limited budget. If it ends up like all the other loos (and I don't see any obvious reason why it won't) it will just be another embarrassing waste. (Note: I avoided money down the pan clichés).

A toilet facility may be needed but will it avoid all the usual pitfalls that beset public loos...?

We can but cross our legs and hope.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of alderleyedge.com.

Barlow's Beef, Public Toilets, Vic Barlow


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Alan R Davies
Tuesday 30th August 2016 at 9:09 am
Public toilets cost money, whether they are chargeable or not. The Alderley Edge toilet (shown in the photograph) that was closed cost £30K per annum, and the Wilmslow Bank Square toilet cost £17k per annum. Personally I think that is community money which is well spent in order to make sure that the elderly and disabled are not restricted to a short distance from their own home. The only other alternative is to encourage pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to offer public use of their facilities, but I haven't seen much sight of that happening.
Tregony Windsor
Thursday 1st September 2016 at 7:47 am
Why the tremendous difference between £17k for the Wilmslow toilet and £30k for the one in Alderley Edge??