More money needed to encourage Flintshire shopkeepers to open toilets to public
More money needs to be offered in order to encourage shopkeepers in Flintshire to make their toilets available to the public, it has been claimed.
There are currently just four loos operated by Flintshire Council in the area after eight were closed since 2000 in a bid to cut costs.
Some public conveniences were also transferred into the ownership of community groups.
The local authority has been consulting on its Local Toilets Strategy, as required by the Welsh Government, and one of the ideas included was to approach businesses to provide facilities.
However, Liberal Democrat leader Chris Dolphin said it would be difficult to implement unless better incentives were given.
Speaking at a meeting of the council’s environment scrutiny committee yesterday, he criticised the amount previously offered by the Cardiff administration.
Cllr Dolphin said: “I personally am not in favour of shops even being asked to be available to the public unless there’s some incentive from the Welsh Government.
“A few years ago, it was £500 and that was derisory.
“It needs to be at least triple that to make it worthwhile for any shopkeeper to open their premises to perhaps hundreds of people a week to use their facilities.”
Officers agreed that the previous attempt to encourage business owners had failed.
The authority has signalled its intention to continue promoting the use of existing toilets in council buildings, such as libraries and informaiton centres.
Senior figures said they would also work with town and community councils to provide the facilities, but asking businesses to do so was placed lower down the priority list.
Responding to Cllr Dolphin, Steve Jones, chief officer for Streetscene and transportation, said: “At the moment no businesses have taken up the offer for the reasons you’ve just said.
“To give £500 for people coming in is not worth it, so there could be something we could send in response to the White Paper which has asked us to provide a strategy.”
Councillors voted to note the work completed to date, as well as the ongoing public consultation on the toilet strategy.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
Feature Image: Domestos
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