Public toilets on Margate seafront shut and unlikely to open this Summer due to ‘structural condition’

The clock tower loos will remain shut

Public toilets on Margate seafront are shut and likely to stay closed during the summer due to ‘structural problems.’

The clock tower toilets in Marine Drive are the closet facilities to the main sands. The next nearest public facility is at the Nayland end of the beach or on the Stone Pier.

Thanet council says a review of the repair works has to be carried out.

A spokesman said: “The Clock tower toilets in Margate are currently closed due to concerns about the structural condition of the building. A review into the extent of repair work that may be required is currently underway and if it is possible to provide alternative toilets in this area for the summer season.”

Ward councillor Iris Johnston was alerted to the issue by beach traders. She said: ” I wrote to the relevant cabinet members but had no reply. Today I heard from an officer who has confirmed the closure. There has been a whole winter to check and make good any problems. I have asked for Portaloos.”


Nayland toilets photo John Horton

A review of public toilets across the isle is currently taking place as part of a bid to save £175,000 in its 2019-20 budget.

Councils are not required by law to provide the loos and continuing cuts to local authority funding have resulted in public toilets plunging by more than 600 across the country since 2010.

In 2010 Thanet council maintained 33 public toilets, dropping to 28 last year.

The listed urinal at Park Road will be sold Photo Frank Leppard

In January Cabinet members approved the sell-off of sites including closed public toilets in Beresford Gap, Birchington, Marina Road, Ramsgate, Minnis Bay, Birchington, Park Road, Margate, St Johns Cemetery, Margate and Albion Street, Broadstairs.

For the toilet at St Johns Cemetery preference will be given to a use that is related to bereavement. The Albion Street toilets will be transferred to Broadstairs and St Peters Town Council as part of their regeneration plans.

Land and toilets in Minster will transfer to Minster-in-Thanet Parish Council, which already looks after both sites.

In February The Isle of Thanet News revealed public toilets in Thanet could be closed in favour of a ‘community loo’ scheme.

The scheme involves businesses putting a sticker or poster in their window to let people know the facilities are available for use. The council then has a monitoring procedure in place, which includes spot checks, and needs to provide extra provision when there are large public events being held.

The London borough of Richmond Upon Thames was the first authority to launch a community loo scheme in 2002, relaunching it in 2005 and now having a chain of 70 businesses onboard.


  1. Thank you Kathy, Traders in the Beach first alerted me to this and I wrote to the relevant cabinet members but had no reply. Today I heard from an officer who confirmed what you have been told. There has been a whole winter to check and make good any problems. I have asked for Portaloos .

  2. You couldn’t make this up, it’s ridiculous. Who are the cabinet members responsible? Here’s hoping for some that are a bit more proactive after the May elections, before these are added to the ever-growing asset disposal list.

  3. Families with young children or disabled people have a tough enough time finding decent public loos as it is. I know those toilet’s that are by the clock tower are not accesable to disable people but please use some common sence and put up some portaloos (disabled access ones as well)
    I can see people stay away from events on the seafront without more loos being put in place .

  4. Clearly the time for a reassessment of priorities is NOW. Easter weekend is only a couple of weeks away – closely followed by the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. Reviewing the situation after the May elections is not an option.

    Rather than £3m on new or refurbished offices for an ever decreasing number of council staff – that money needs to be spent on providing Portaloos at the Clocktower location in the short term whilst the necessary repairs to the toilets are carried out.

    Simples eh ! ?

  5. I think the use of porta loo’ss all year round would be a great idea.
    Easier to sanitize and clean with a high power hose !!! Plus they could be repaired or replaced as required with less cost and down time than a block of loo’s Numbers could also be increased or deceased depending on season and events which saves money with rental and cleaning costs

  6. Internationally acclaimed Turner Prize 2019 with thousands of extra visitors coming to Margate? We need Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain in multiples along the seafront! Long live R Mutt!

    • Yet another unhelpful political snide.

      If all the Labour councillors did such a splendid job, why were they not re-elected to form a majority ruling group ? Like the Conservatives and like UKIP, they have all tried and failed. Too much toxicity and political in-fighting still exists in Thanet. Rather than a genuine effort to improve and resolve problems, all efforts are concentrated on blaming somebody else for the failings.

      It is about time you stopped behaving like children in the school playground and stop calling each other names. Just behave more like sensible, mature, responsible adults and get on with the job.

      • John.. sounds a bit like the present Parliament. Note I deliberately said ‘Parliament’ *not* Government. They all need to get together for the common good, not all this stupid in-fighting.

        This is just idiotic. Drive away all the visitors why don’t you.. no Tourist services and now no toilets for those who do bother! As a point of information the Nayland toilets were also closed when I was up that way last week..!

  7. Maybe open the TDC offices ,sack the offficials responsible and vote out the do nothing councillors in May.

  8. Need to get rid of Waite and co. The money saved could be used to sort out all the public loo’s all around Thanet. Our new council must be strong and stand for the people of Thanet.

  9. I could see this coming over the years.why did Thanet council invest in self cleaning automatic toilets years ago other seaside towns have been using them for years.they charge a minimum of 20p for use. The council could have earned revenue.

  10. If the toilets remain closed and no alternative are available then those desperate will probably. Do what they need to do anywhere they can .So much so that the seafront will just become a giant sespit ( welcome to Thanet)

  11. When going on holiday in Britain, West country, lakes etc never have I come across closed public toilets, so at least this will be something for Margate to be proud of, the only seaside town in Britain without loo’s.
    Still when a holiday maker asks you were are the nearest loo’s just send them to the new council offices to use theirs….

  12. They will have updated loos in the council offices when they have spent their 3million on the building but can’t give the tourist proper nice loos to use when they are bringing money into the area during the summer months what is wrong with this area and making sure we have proper facilities for locals and visitors to use other seaside places make sure they do but thanet … Well you have your posh toilets to use, in your building, may be open them for public use ..

  13. I have a disability, I cannot go into a cafe and use their toilet, I have to use equipment (a peristeen). I need a toilet with a decent sized sink to fill the water container up, I also need privacy. This all takes time, I have enough problems with people in wheelchairs banging in the door & shouting at me when I exit disabled toilets because I look fine. This will probably stop me from going out unless I starve myself, so I won’t be able to eat out either. I also have IBS. There are many people in my situation, you don’t realise how many until it happens to you. So hope whoever voted for this never finds out the consequences of their actions.

  14. My 5yr old has a bowel condition that he sometime can not control, if there are no toilets along the seafront, am i meant to just let him soil in the streets or on the beach ? Its a disgrace that the toilet of thanet not just margate are being closed. I would happy pay a fee of 20p or 50p to use public toilets like the ones at victoria train station

  15. Have our Council never visited other coastal areas, they could learn something. Many are using toilet blocks that are alternated and cost 20p to use. They are clean and always available, stop wasting money on Ramsgate Ferry and refurbishing the offices, go back to basic and invest it wisely. This happened at the Logia Building Westbrook, TDC wasted thousands on an event toilet which brought no revenue but cost the tax payer a fortune, a total waste of money. No seaside toilets no Blue flag, no tourists, work it out. At least I will be able to vent my frustration in my local vote coming up.

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