Extra toliets brought as demand expected to go 'loo-py' across Bay

Officials lined up outside toilets block

Council and Healthmatic officials, including Mike Morey (second from right) at the Preston toilets - Credit: Torbay Council

Plans to flush away any complaints about a lack of public loos across in the Bay have been unveiled.

Torbay Council is investing more into opening extra toilets this summer to cope with anticipated
demand.

But the local authority is continuing to ask users to respect the staff with evidence that some toilets are being deliberately vandalised.

As well as investing £36,000 in opening seven more toilets at Preston South, the
council is putting in place 10 temporary chemical toilets (portaloos) at Vaughan Parade toilets in Torquay and at Broadsands beach, and is also purchasing an additional ten chemical toilets to give extra, flexible capacity as needed.

New signage has been installed to direct visitors to Abbey Sands toilet, and signage on the beach identifies the location of the toilets and public shower at Abbey Sands.

The latest investment is in addition to the £33,000 announced recently which includes an extra mobile cleaning crew in Brixham, longer opening hours and additional security.

There will be two permanent staff based at both Preston and Broadsands.

The Council says it was already part way through a £2 million investment in new toilets. 
Due to the delays being experienced in the sourcing of raw materials through the supply chain, it is anticipated the work at Preston South toilets will take around six weeks before they can reopen.

There are a number of ongoing challenges at Corbyn Head including vandalism and anti-social
behaviour, and the Council is continuing to look at options for the site along with TDA, the
leaseholder.

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay
Council, said: “Although we already had plans to increase opening hours, staffing and CCTV of
toilets over the summer with it expected to be one of the busiest on record due to the number of people having to take their holidays in the UK, we have realised that we need to provide more
toilets at key tourist spots for this period.
“But I must also reiterate that - following reports of vandalism, abusive behaviour towards the
Healthmatic cleaning staff, and people holding toilet doors open instead of queueing for toilets -
we will not tolerate misuse of the toilets and abuse of the staff.

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"Officers have advised us that they strongly suspect that there is a concerted campaign to vandalise and disrupt the toilets at at least two key locations in the Bay. We have additional CCTV and security at the toilets and we will take action against anyone found to be behaving in an anti-social way."

Cllr Christine Carter, Cabinet Member for Community and Corporate Services Council said:
“The additional investment in our toilets is just one of a number of ways we are
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.”
The Council has been investing in public toilets over the last two years with a number of
new and improved facilties, and in 2019, six of the Bay’s toilets won ‘Loo of the Year’ awards.
Every day on average, Healthmatic clean facilities two to three times a day dependant on the
number of users recorded on the payment system, their vans are driven more than 64 miles, while
150 jumbo toilet rolls are ordered for use at our public toilets every week. In addition around 20
litres of lemon impact gel are used every week.

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.
perform their cleaning duties throughout each day, especially during times of peak demand.”