Wisbech mayor to make a plea to shopkeepers and businesses to open their loos to the public

Steve Tierney will put his loo initiative to the town council.

Steve Tierney will put his loo initiative to the town council. - Credit: Archant

Wisbech mayor Steve Tierney believes he has found the answer to the town’s on going public loos crisis – get shopkeepers to put up ‘welcome here’ stickers and open them to anyone caught short.

Councillor Tierney’s motion to the town council on Monday -headed “Public Rest Rooms Initiative was approved.

The mayor proposed “that Wisbech Town Council approaches local shopkeepers and business owners, asking if they would be willing to make their toilet(s) available for public use”.

Cllr Tierney added: “If they were to participate in such an arrangement, the town council would provide each participant with a sign, to be displayed on the exterior of the premises, saying ‘Wisbech Town Council would like to thank this publicly-spirited business for making its WC available for public use.

“‘Members of the public may use the toilet in this building provided that they do so in a respectful way.

“’This business maintains the right to refuse entry.’”

On his blog Cllr Tierney said he had already spoken to five local businesses “who have, in principle, said ‘yes.’”

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Fenland councillor Virginia Bucknor, a former town councillor, pointed out on social media that the Exchange Square toilets were acquired by Wisbech Town Council over a year ago “and absolutely nothing has been done with them.”

Last October, according to council minutes, “members decided that the current situation be noted and that, on the proposal of Councillor Oliver, seconded by Councillor Wing, the ladies and gents toilets at Exchange Square be closed permanently and that quotations be sought for refurbishment of the disabled toilet (on the basis of it being made available as a facility for all members of the public).”

Cllr Tierney, however, wrote on his blog: “Nobody has denied the Exchange Square toilets are closed. They were closed for refurbishment, but the committee have decided to delay the re-opening in order to look at the possibility of a superloo in there.

“The toilets won’t be reopened until the assets committee makes a decision on their future.”

Cllr Bucknor said the town council had also acquired the public toilets in the park “and these have had no refurbishment and no money set aside for refurbishment.

“The suggestion that shopkeepers should offer their toilets is not thought out..

She offered to work with the mayor to persuade the management of the Horsefair shopping centre to re-open their toilets after they were closed because of vandalism.

The Church Terrace loos – run by Fenland Council – have re-opened following a period of closure because of vandalism

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