Torbay councillors visited local toilets in the Bay to see first-hand the improvements that have been made, and met with frontline cleaning staff to find out about the challenges they have faced, including ongoing issues with verbal abuse and vandalism.
Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture and met with local councillors and Healthmatic staff including frontline cleaning staff and management, as well as Neil Coish, Head of Service for Parks and Green Infrastructure for SWISCo, a Torbay Council owned company, to get an update on what is happening with the Bay’s public toilets. Healthmatic maintain the toilets on behalf of the Council.
The Council has spent around £2m on improving public toilets so far during an ongoing improvement programme and as well as opening brand new blocks across the Bay over the past couple of years, Torbay Council has this summer opened additional toilet facilities including newly refurbished toilets at Preston South (Redcliff), and temporary toilets at popular areas such as Vaughan Parade and Broadsands. To support the funding of the ongoing maintenance work and increased cleaning regime, a charge of 30p was introduced a few years ago.
The toilets they visited were the newer purpose built blocks at Goodrington Central and Preston Central, as well as the refurbished older toilet block at Preston South (Redcliff) which was opened at the start of the school summer holidays to provide extra capacity, after the Council agreed to invest an extra £60,000 this summer.
Despite this there have been ongoing issues with abuse of staff and vandalism including graffiti, rocks blocking doors, damage to shutters and doors.
Councillor Morey said: “It was good to see the improvements that have been made to local toilets and speak to staff on the frontline about the type of things they have to deal with on an everyday basis. Summer is traditionally a busy time for Torbay but this year has been even busier than ever so we’ve been pulling out the stops to help people enjoy the summer. Bigger bins, extra toilet capacity, more regular cleaning and longer opening hours and better CCTV, and we’ve also recently launched a campaign on our social media and other channels to encourage people to report issues when they find them with, for example, overflowing litter bins, problems with toilets, fly-tipping and other local issues.
“If you see an issue with a local public toilet, remember – if you report it, we can sort it. Call 01249 823143 or emailing email@example.com
“But once again I would also like to reiterate our plea to please treat the staff working hard to clean and maintain our public toilets with respect as we are aware of a number of incidents of staff being abused.”
You can find out more about how to report any issues in the Bay on the Torbay Council website.
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