In case you don’t already know, the town centre public toilets are scheduled to be closed, due to lack of funding/funding cuts. Maybe not a hugely noteworthy piece of news, but vital if you need to find one fast.
Toileting is one of those necessities we all – barring medical anomalies – share. Bladders and bowels. Common ground. Like breathing, eating and sleeping, releasing our effluence into a receptacle is one of the things we all do on a daily basis – and maybe a nightly basis too.
It’s totally inclusive. One and all – welcome. Those with continence and those without. No discrimination in terms of sex, age, gender, class, culture, financial status, citizenship.
Some of us might have other needs: nappy changing; tummy upsets; periods. Not great mealtime conversation topics, but an unspoken connection we all share.
Teachers and toileting
In the flow of conversation with a friend who’s a parent, a primary school teacher and visitor to Hastings on visits with the children: “We (the teachers) spend all the time running around looking for toilets. Go to the beach – toilet. Lunch – toilet. Ice cream – toilet. Spend all day searching for toilets.”
Another friend visiting the town fumes that the toilets in her area are also being closed down. One of the things lost in the council’s cuts. (Must be a nightmare to decide where the money goes, when the budget is constantly cut… so many demanding causes and claims on the cash.)
Save our toilet?
What do you think? Are public toilets important for the town? If the toilets close, is it a good thing that people will go into restaurants, cafes, shops, the pier and the promenade in search of toilets, something essential to us all at some point in the day or in our lives?
The money. It’s down to the money. The toilet is also considered to be beyond repair – £100,000 would be needed to bring them back to good condition.
Decisions, decisions. Choices. Funding cuts – something has to go. To close or not to close?
Any good ideas?
Do you have any ideas? I mean, you’re a part of this town and why should we think that toilets are the sole domain of the council? Here’re some to start things off:
- Volunteers run the toilet as a convenient public convenience for those who live here or pass through, each and every one in possession of bowels and bladders
- Composting toilets
- Mobile toilets like the ones builders use – or at festivals?
- Pissoirs? (What do the women have? One of the stand-up urinators?)
- Should we have a map of toilets for visitors? A Toilet Trail?
- Toilet training sessions by the sea… ‘How to hold your bladder.’ ‘How not to evacuate your bowels in a public place.’ We could run workshops and a whole toilet empire could emerge – and then the money would be there to provide something convenient for us all to use.
- We all carry round our personal chamber pots.
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