Toilets for St George Park?
The public toilets at the edge of St George Park were closed on 6 January 2018. At the end of January many other public toilets across Bristol also closed. Do we need public toilets for St George Park?
Anyone who has spent any time in St George Park will know that it is a busy area, particularly at weekends and during the school holidays. The John Deasy children’s play park and the Wheelpark are particularly well used areas of the park.
We reported in the February edition of the St George & Redfield Voice on the council's Community Toilet Scheme. The scheme was intended to provide a network of toilets available for use by the public within business and community premises. The plan being that the network of facilities would be operational before the public toilets closed. So, a few months after the closure of the toilets in St George Park, where are the nearest alternative facilities? You can check the latest list at www.bristol.gov.uk/communitytoilets But, when we went to print with our April 2018 edition there were NO facilities in the BS5 area at all! UPDATE: Since going to print Burger King at Eastgate Shopping Centre has been added to the list.
Anyone who has ever used the toilet facilities in St George Park will know that they were far from salubrious; some had described them as not fit for purpose. But, at least they were available.
There is no statutory requirement on the council to provide public toilets, and so the closure of facilities around the city was part of the council's cost saving plans.
The toilet facilities in St George Library are open to library users during normal opening hours, but they're not formally part of the Community Toilet Scheme. The nearest council offices to St George Park are at St Anne's House, St Annes Road – but the toilets are in a secure part of the building and are not accessible to the public.
The council has told us that they've approached various local businesses to join the Community Toilet Scheme, but to date none have formally signed up to the scheme. The council aren't offering any funding to those organisations that sign up to the scheme, and so the organisation providing the facilities need to meet the additional running costs as well as ensuring they have public liability insurance and keeping the toilets available and clean.
We asked the council what their plans were for the now unused toilet building in St George Park. We've been told that nothing is finalised for the St George Park toilets and that if there are expressions of interest for its future use, these would be considered. The council will consider the future of all the closed toilet facilities on a case by case basis. Some may be sold, others may be leased to third parties, whilst some may be considered for Community Asset Transfer (i.e. made available for use by a community group).
- Do you think there should be toilet facilities in St George Park?
- Do you believe that the Council should be providing the facilities?
Let us know your thoughts – email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at St George & Redfield Voice, Easton Business Centre, Felix Road, Bristol BS5 0HE.
We'll share your thoughts in our next edition, on our website and will also share them with the council.
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