Mourne’s Sinn Féin Councillor Willie Clarke has welcomed a strategic review on public convenience provision in Newry Mourne and Down Council which has recommended toilet replacement and upgrades to the majority of the toilet provision in Newcastle.
The report will be discussed on Wednesday at the Regulatory and Technical services committee.
Councillor Clarke said: “Last year I requested that a strategic review be conducted on public convenience provision in Newry Mourne and Down Council. This should include the schedule of maintenance, cleansing schedule and staffing arrangements.
“I have been contacted on numerous occasions about the cleanliness of the toilets in Newcastle, and this is an opportunity to have a review of all the concerns in regards public toilet provision, so the results that the replacement or upgrade of five of Newcastle’s toilet blocks are required, comes as no surprise to me, given the awful condition of the toilet provision.”
Cllr Clarke added: “The overall conclusion highlighted from this initial work in the report is that there is a need for Council to consider both capital and revenue expenditure to the provision of its PC’s provision in order to provide the level of service which the Council would seek to provide to the public.
“Capital expenditure is needed to undertake a scheme of Public Convenience’s refurbishment with a recommendation to focus initially in the town of Newcastle. These recommendations will need to be supported by all parties to ensure the resources are provided during the rates process.
“As indicated within the findings there is a variance in the frequency in the cleaning of our toilets across the district with some facilities receiving one visit per day whereas others are serviced more frequently.
“Facilities which are serviced less frequently are more likely to fail to meet the standard of cleanliness which Council would seek to provide but even regular visits during the day cannot always guarantee this standard will be achieved due to inappropriate use of the facilities provided.
“Officers are currently reviewing this service provision and the outcome of this may result in proposals being placed before the Council in the forthcoming setting of rates for the provision of additional revenue budget to provide additional staffing.”