Anyone ‘caught short’ whilst out and about in Gloucester city centre will soon feel flush with the announcement that new £100,000 attended public toilets are to be created.
Public loos have been a burning issue for shoppers ever since the last ones were scrapped in favour of a community toilet scheme, where people can drop in to venues which display a sticker in the window.
Empty retail units on Westgate Street are being eyed up as potential new homes for the public conveniences which would be kept spick and span by charging its users 20p a go to pay for an attendant to be on hand.
Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Gloucester City Council, won the support of enough fellow city councillors to push through the plan last week.
He said: “It is really good news that the funding has been secured.
“We are looking at the possibility of a shop unit that has been repeatedly seen retailers change hands. Westgate Street might be a good place because it is near the Cathedral and there are a lot of tourists in that area.
“The toilets need to be high quality and kept in a very good condition with an attendant service. We need to make sure there is always somebody there to keep them clean.
“I think people will be prepared to pay 20p to enter if they know it is good to be clean.
“We now need to look for the right premises, secure the lease and fit them out. That might happen very quickly or it may take some time depending on lease negotiations.”
Gloucester City Council’s cabinet will report back in three months time with a plan, but the Liberal Democrats will also appoint a councillor to work alongside the cabinet to deliver the project.
Shoppers have previously called for new public toilets to be installed at King’s Square, where toilets had previously been located. Christopher Tunely, 67, said: “Now that old concrete lump is gone it would be great to see some proper toilets in King’s Square.
“There’s nothing else around here – the nearest facilities are in the pub on the other side of the square.”
The lack of facilities has been blamed for problems at the King’s Walk car park of people using the stairwells as a toilet and for partygoers in Eastgate Street urinating in doorways because they have nowhere else to go.