Public toilets across Arun could be closed

Arun Civic Centre, Littlehampton ENGSUS00120130418113852
Arun Civic Centre, Littlehampton ENGSUS00120130418113852

Public toilets could be closed across Arun in a bid to save up to £150,000.

Arun District Council is considering shutting some public conveniences and investing in others, with councillors set to discuss options at the end of the month.

Town and parish councils in low-priority areas could be asked to take on the running of their toilets to keep them open.

Councillor Paul Dendle, cabinet member for leisure and amenities, said: “Although the provision of public toilets is not a statutory service, Arun District Council recognises the importance of these facilities and is committed to improving the quality and retaining free to use toilets in key areas.

“In order to ensure that available funding is spent where it is most needed, we will need to close some public toilets but we believe we have public support for doing this and it will allow us to significantly raise the standard at the most-used facilities.

“In areas where Arun District Council is unable to prioritise public toilets, we hope to meet with the relevant town or parish council to discuss whether they would be prepared to secure this provision for the future.”

The proposals, which will first go to the environmental services and leisure working group on June 28, are part of Arun’s 2020 Vision work.

As reported last week, Arun is targeting savings of up to £4million over the next four years.

While most of the savings are hoped to be made through back-office efficiencies, a project entitled ‘fewer public toilets’ was among the list of projects under consideration.

The plans could save between £50,000 and £150,000.

The agenda for the working group, detailing further details, has yet to be published.

But Arun today confirmed it would invest in the remaining toilets should any close.

This could include introducing baby changing facilities and ensuring they are suitable for people with disabilities.

An Arun spokesman said only 34 per cent of residents were satisfied with the standard of facilities, with issues including ageing facilities, accessibility and antisocial behaviour.

The working group’s recommendations will be forwarded to cabinet members for a decision in July.