The £10m public spending cut on public conveniences will be all too plain to see and smell, warns trade union UNISON, as world cup revellers are caught short in the street.
In the last two years more than £10m has been cut from public spending on public conveniences in Britain posing a risk to public health, especially following late night summer events including the World Cup.
In 2011/12 councils across England spent 13% less on maintaining and repairing public conveniences compared to the 2010/2011. Some councils are now spending more than £250,000 less on public conveniences with the biggest cuts in London and the North West.
Government cuts to council budgets have led to many closing facilities leaving many areas without public toilets.
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary said:
“It is only right that people should be able to go out and enjoy a great sporting event like the World Cup in a care-free way with friends and family. But there is a clear risk to public health when there are so few public toilets available for people to use when they need them.
“Urgent action is needed to keep our streets safe and hygienic. The Government likes to talk up savings without looking at the consequences. The cuts in council spending affect us all and are forcing councils to make impossible choices. This has led to this £10m cut in public toilet facilities which is a clear health hazard.
“The closure of so many public conveniences is also leading to major problems for mobile workers such as transport workers, paramedics, posties, street cleaners and garbage collectors. With many shops and restaurants displaying ‘customer only’ signs it is very distressing when no public toilets are available.”
The problem is highlighted today (15 June) at UNISON’s Water, Environment and Transport Conference where delegates are calling for free, convenient and safe access to public conveniences for mobile workers.