Council ‘shifting responsibility’ for public toilets in Haywards Heath

Fracking protest at Balcombe Sunday, August 18 ENGSUS00120130820075034
Fracking protest at Balcombe Sunday, August 18 ENGSUS00120130820075034

Mid Sussex District Council has been criticised for trying to ‘shift responsibility’ for providing public toilets by asking businesses to open their facilities.

Judy Sharp, of Amberley Close, is one of many residents who has written on the online forum ‘Streetlife’ to complain about the lack of public facilities in Haywards Heath.

Ms Sharp said she believed there was a ‘moral requirement’ for the council to provide more public lavatories in such a large town.

“I was very surprised when the public toilets in Victoria Park were removed and not replaced,” she said. “After all, Victoria Park is the green heart of Haywards Heath, and has a playground specifically for young children and their parents.”

She added when three cubicles at The Orchards, were closed, over the late bank holiday weekend, it caused a ‘major problem’.

The district council has been encouraging businesses to make their toilets available to the public - through its Community Toilet Scheme - but Ms Sharp said she thought it unfair for the council to ‘shift responsibility’.

Diane Talbot, business unit leader for customer services and communications at the district council, said: “The community toilet scheme is used up and down the country because it is the proven to be the best way to provide reliable, safe facilities. Businesses locally receive payment for making their toilets available for public use.”

Councillor Pru Moore, cabinet member for leisure and sustainability, added: “The scheme gives local people access to toilets in the heart of the town centre and because they are staffed, the facilities are always clean and safe to use.

“The toilets in The Orchards shopping centre were upgraded recently including new tiling, and cleaning was increased to meet an increased number of visitors. An issue with water pressure has seen these toilets out of action this week but they are now back to full use.

“We clean our toilet facilities four times a day and carry out regular maintenance.”

Any business wishing to take part in the scheme should call 01444 477305.