In common with many cities around the UK, our public toilets no longer serve the needs of residents and are costly to maintain. Many are hidden away and are in poor condition. They attract serious and repeated anti-social behaviour including widespread drug use and are regularly vandalised. Understandably many are infrequently used.
Further central government funding reductions mean that the City Council has to find an additional saving of £3.9 million over the next two financial years. Every service is being challenged to ensure that it provides value for money and all non-statutory services are under considerable pressure. Public conveniences are not a statutory service and we no longer have enough funding to adequately maintain all the sites we operate.
We are therefore proposing to rationalise our public conveniences to a more manageable number. We have suggested that those which are under used, heavily abused, subject to antisocial behaviour, in the wrong location or where there are already better publically accessible toilets nearby, are closed. This will help to prevent cuts to our fontline services and enable the Council to set a balanced budget.
The proposal is to permanently close the following public toilets:
Cathedral & Quay Car Park (closed in 2016 due to repeated anti-social behaviour), Guinea Street (closed in 2016 due to vandalism, heavy drug use and repeated anti-social behaviour), Blackboy Road, King William Street, Cowick Lane, Ennerdale Way, Hamlin Lane, Higher Cemetery, Buddle Lane, Musgrave Row, Okehampton Street, Fore Street Heavitree, Cowick Street, Fore Street Topsham, Whipton (Pinhoe Road)
That would leave 11 remaining in the city:
Paris Street, Cowick Barton Playing fields, Exeter Quay, Exwick Cemetery (in mess room), Heavitree Park, Honiton P&R, King George V, Matford Park & Ride, St Thomas Park, Topsham Cemetery, Topsham Quay.
An Equalities Impact Assessment has been completed and is available to download.
The survey closed on Wednesday 20th February 2019.