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Community Toilet Scheme Launched in Broadstone

Visitors to Broadstone needn’t worry about getting caught short thanks to a new scheme to improve access to toilets in the town.

The Community Toilet Scheme allows anyone to use the loos in scheme members’ premises whether they are a paying customer or not.

Businesses signing up to the scheme will display the ‘use our loo’ sticker in their window to show which facilities are available.

So far Broadstone library, The Junction Leisure Centre, Costa Coffee, Molly’s Café and Hadleigh House surgery have all joined up.

Martin Stockley, Manager of The Junction Leisure Centre said: "The Junction welcomes hundreds of visitors every single week of the year. To be included in the local ‘Use our loo’ scheme will only enable more visitors to see our facilities and thus maybe attract regular participation in the sporting and fitness programmes we are proud to offer all ages."

The council is looking at different ways to provide access to clean, safe toilets in the borough that provide good value for money.

There are 30 public toilets in Poole and the cost of running these is rising as the buildings age, making refurbishment works increasingly urgent.

Many of the buildings, including the Macaulay Road toilet in Broadstone, are ageing and in poor condition. The cost of carrying out refurbishment works to all toilets over the next ten years has been estimated at £1.3 million.

The savings made through the Community Toilet Scheme will be spent on much needed improvements to public toilets.

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Borough of Poole, said: "We understand that public toilet facilities are important to residents and visitors, and the Community Toilet Scheme is a way in which we can continue to make clean, safe and accessible toilets available to all people without increasing the burden on council taxpayers and still afford the ever growing costs in the future."

The first Community Toilet Scheme started in 2003 in Richmond upon Thames. Since then many other Councils in England have taken up the idea.

By working in partnership with local businesses the council is able to offer a much better standard of facilities than in traditional public toilets.

Phil Howlett, Manager of Costa Coffee, said: "We are pleased to be joining the Use Our Loo Scheme. People do come in to use our toilets anyway and this is a way of making them feel welcome. It’s a win win really because it’s good for the community and it’s good for us too."

The Community Toilets are available during normal business hours, so the opening hours are longer than in public toilets. 

People with a disability will find much better choice with the Community Toilets as all scheme members offer accessible facilities.

There will also be more baby changing, including some unisex facilities that can be used by mums or dads. 

The Broadstone scheme trial was launched on 1 August 2013 and run for 12 months. The Macaulay Road public toilets will be closed during this period.

Plans are under way for a similar trial in Canford Heath and if the scheme is successful it could be used in some other parts of the borough too. Businesses  interested in finding out more about the benefits of joining the scheme can contact the council’s Environmental Development team on 01202 261741.