Public toilets will be 'cleaner, more accessible and safer'

The toilets at Goodrington Central

The toilets at Goodrington central - Credit: Archant

An extra £33,000 – on top of almost £2m already being spent on providing public toilets across the Bay – is being invested on further improvements this summer.

The aim will be to increase capacity and make the toilets cleaner, more accessible and safer - but the public is also being asked to respect the staff during this period of high demand, says Torbay Council.

Healthmatic, who manage the toilets on the council's behalf, will be employing an extra two cleaning staff and toilets will also be open later - until 10pm over the summer - so that more people can use them.

There will also be a more regular cleaning regime, and increased surveillance and CCTV to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The council have already spent millions on improving toilets despite them not receiving Government funding - it’s not a statutory service - and is also continuing to investigate other ways to increase public toilet provision and capacity across the Bay as it faces its busiest summer in years.

There will be additional cleaning staff based at Broadsands and Preston beach toilets - which have been particularly busy in recent weeks with the warm weather - with mobile cleaning teams in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.

Every day on average, Healthmatic vans are driven 64 miles, while 150 jumbo toilet rolls are ordered for use at our public toilets every week.

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In addition, around 20 litres of lemon impact gel are used every week.

Steve Darling, leader of Torbay Council, said: “With 2021 looking set to be our busiest summer for some time, we have listened to both our local residents and visitors to the Bay, and are putting extra resources into our public toilets to make them cleaner, safer and open for longer, as well as continuing to find ways to increase our capacity.

“We’ve already invested £2m in making our award-winning toilets more modern and nicer than in many areas and Healthmatic are working very hard to maintain them – we also need everyone using the toilets to treat them with respect as well.

"We have been investing in the Bay’s public toilets over the last two years with many new and improved facilities, and in 2019, six of the Bay’s toilets won ‘Loo of the Year’ awards."

Darren Cowell, council deputy leader, said: “We estimate around 25,000 people will have used Torbay’s public toilets over the weekend alone. Investment in our toilets is just one of the ways that we’re gearing up for the summer.

"We are also recruiting new Clean, Green and Safe Ambassadors to respond rapidly to issues related to increased footfall, joining with local community groups to organise litter picks and beach cleans, and we are also working to address unauthorised access to our green spaces.”

Martin Fearon from Healthmatic said: “We welcome this additional investment and are extremely proud that the combination of capital investment by the council and the dedication shown by our staff has resulted in a significantly better experience for Torbay residents and visitors alike.

“We ask users of the public toilet facilities to be understanding towards the cleaning teams as they perform their cleaning duties throughout each day, especially during times of peak demand.”

The Clean, Green and Safe Ambassadors who will be employed by SWISCo, which delivers a range of services on behalf of the council, will engage with residents and visitors to spot and prevent issues from high footfall, breaches of restrictions in open spaces including town centres and beaches, and bring in additional resources where needed.

There will be additional street cleansing, deep cleaning and litter collections in high-footfall locations such as shopping areas and routes between the hotels and tourist attractions.