What a relief! Thanet council has confirmed that Portaloos will be installed on Margate seafront tomorrow (May 24) in time for the busy bank holiday.
With thousands of visitors expected in town for the Mod weekender, Norman Jay gig at Dreamland and the annual Ace Café ride out on Monday, traders in the town feared the closure of the ‘clock tower’ toilets could result in people urinating in the street.
The toilets have flooded following a major leak which has also damaged the ceiling and tiles. A large crack was also discovered in the ladies’ toilet. Incoming water means the electrics being condemned.
The toilets at Buenos Ayres (by the TS Eliot shelter) and on the Harbour Arm in Margate remain open. There are also a number of other public facilities in Margate. An interactive map showing all of the toilets in Thanet can be found on the website: https://www.thanet.gov.uk/info-pages/public-toilets/
Margate Central ward councillor Rob Yates said he was so desperate for the situation to be resolved that he emailed Thanet council’s chief executive offering part of his council allowance to pay for the temporary toilets.
He said: “”As a new councillor the first conversation I had with council officers was about the Margate toilets. This is even more pressing whilst Wetherspoons is closed for refurbishment.
“In July I will be speaking at full council on behalf of over 300 people in Margate who signed the hard copy toilet petition to keep open the clock tower toilets. I will be suggesting in my council speech that if we can’t provide adequate toilet facilities then TDC should consider closing the beach.
“Today I sent an email to Madeline Homer, the chief executive of TDC, to suggest docking my salary in order to get accessible Portaloos in place for busy weekends.”
There will be six portaloos in place over the bank holiday weekend.
On hearing that the portaloos will, indeed, be in place tomorrow Cllr Yates added: “What a relief! Tourism is central to Margate and it is good that short term facilities are being made available during these busy times. As always the devil is in the detail, but I am glad that action is being taken.”
A Thanet council spokesperson said: “There will be Portaloos installed tomorrow in Margate ahead of the bank holiday and the Margate Meltdown.”