Agenda item

Matters arising from the Policy Development and Performance Monitoring Panels

Minutes:

Final Report of the Public Toilets Task Group

 

Consideration was given to the report of the Public Toilets Task Group, containing recommendations which had been approved by the Performance Monitoring Panel.

 

The Chairman of the Task Group, Councillor G Dark, presented the report containing the Task Group’s recommendations to the Cabinet.

 

The work undertaken by the Task Group was welcomed, and those members and officers involved were thanked.  Members commented that although there had been some criticism in the press with regard to carrying out what was perceived as an obvious piece of work, it had resulted in a deeper understanding of all the issues, and had provided a mandate for improvement.  Toilet facilities were a discretionary service, and the Authority had found a way of avoiding closure, and a cost effective way forward.

 

It was important to make toilet facilities usable in the short term - this was already underway.  All Council toilet facilities were cleaned on a daily basis and there was now a monthly rotational deep clean so that all facilities would now receive a deep clean on a regular basis.  In the long term, options for the future replacement of all facilities would be considered by officers.

 

DECISION:

 

That the following recommendations of the Task Group be approved:

 

a)    That a standardised written specification for the toilets be prepared so that staff cleaning and maintaining them had a clear understanding of what materials and equipment should be present and what cleaning was required;

 

b)    That spot checks be carried out at regular intervals to determine if the specification was being met, and to ensure issues were reported;

 

c)    That a protocol be agreed between Environmental Services and the Central Support Unit to ensure consistency in how work was reported, feedback was provided when work was scheduled and had been completed, and tasks were effectively prioritised;

 

d)    That public reporting of issues be encouraged through notices on display in each toilet block;

 

e)    That the disabled toilet facilities be fitted with more substantial locks to prevent vandalism and improve security;

 

f)     That the disabled toilets in Spalding town centre display a notice to advise of the adult changing facility at the South Holland Centre;

 

g)    That improved location and directional signage for the public toilets be added to ensure that visitors to the District could easily locate the facilities, and that a map be added to the Council’s website to show the location of the public toilets;

 

h)   That a rapid response procedure to offensive graffiti be explored to ensure that this is removed or covered at the earliest opportunity;

 

i)     That when Government policy enabled the Council to remove the business rates requirement for public toilets, this budget be diverted to cover additional refurbishments and repairs in future years;

 

j)      That a deep clean programme be undertaken during 2019/2020 at all public toilet facilities, that all outstanding repairs be carried out, and that an investment be made into repairs at Holbeach toilets (estimated up to £20,000) to bring these up to a satisfactory and safe condition;

 

k)    That a capital programme for refurbishment of public toilets be prepared for future years and be completed by 2025;

 

l)     That as part of this programme, officers be tasked with exploring more modernised facilities and designs such as self-cleaning toilets, and facilities that were designed to combat issues such as vandalism or graffiti. A further task group could be set up in due course to consider this;

 

m)  That officers explore alternative funding sources, or contributions from business or organisations whose customers benefit from the facilities.

 

(Other options considered:

·         That alterations be made and further consideration be given to the Final Report;

·         Do nothing

Reasons for decision:

·         To improve the public toilet facilities in South Holland.)

Supporting documents: