‘No plans’ to reopen Margate Clock Tower public toilets

The clock tower loos will remain shut

Margate’s ‘Clock Tower’ public toilets will not be reopened.

The facilities in Marine Drive were not reopened for the season after a pre-season inspection found them to be unsafe for public use due to structural issues.

The toilets flooded following a major leak which has also damaged the ceiling and tiles. Damage was also discovered in the ladies’ toilet. Incoming water means the electrics were condemned.

The closure prompted a public protest in April outside the council offices.

At a meeting of full council tonight (July 11) it was revealed that thy will remain shut.

A member of the public asked deputy leader Ash Ashbee when the toilets would be fixed and reopened to accommodate visitors for the approaching high season.

Cllr Ash Ashbee

In response Cllr Asbee said: “There are presently no plans to reopen the clock tower toilets.”

She said, instead a ‘strategic approach’ to public toilets across the isle is now being undertaken.

Cllr Ashbee added that reopening the clock tower toilets “would not be cost effective” as a spend of several thousand pounds would be necessary.

A petition was also presented at the meeting by Labour councillor Rob Yates containing 386 valid signatures requesting that Thanet District Council immediately rescinds its decision to close the Margate clock tower toilets.

Cllr Yates questioned why temporary toilets had only been in place for the Margate Meltdown event in May and said money saved on water bills and maintenance at the Marine Drive toilets should be spent on temporary facilities- especially with the imminent Turner Prize and the influx of some 250,000 visitors expected. He also asked for locks on the ‘disgusting’ Stone Pier toilets.

The Isle of Thanet News revealed in February that public toilets across the isle could be closed in favour of a ‘community loo’ scheme with local businesses or facilities transferred to town councils.

Public toilets under review

Thanet council was carrying out a review into the future of the isle’s public toilets as part of a bid to save £175,000.

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.

EDIT: Amount quoted as £7,000 should have read ‘several thousand pounds’


    • £3million to paint council offices but don’t worry about the tourists they can use the beach as a toilet,yay

      • Same old story with the council, if I decorated the outside of my house instead of paying my council tax, they would be on me like a pig on slop, but it’s fine for them to do it, but this works 2 fold for the council because now the toilets are closed, they can now send there little soldiers out to fine the public for defecating and urinating in public aereas! Entrapment? And you can guarantee they wouldn’t use the funds generated from that to pay the 7 grand bill to fix the toilets! Nope strait down to carpet right to re carpet the council offices or updating there it system

  1. TDC wastes more money on cock-ups like Pleasurama, Dreamland, Manston and more. It pays huge sums of money to lawyers either to cover-up for their mistakes or in compensation to those who have been wrecked by their mistakes. Tourism is still a large part of our economy to not provide public toilets is discriminatory against anyone who is unable or can’t access businesses complying with a Can’t-Wait service. We already have people, usually men pissing up doorways, lifts, alleys and walls. The homeless too are bound to defecate and urinate in public places. There may not be legislation compelling Councils to provide public toilets, but there is legislation to compel Councils to provide healthy and environmentally safe amenities. Shit will happen as a result of these short-term solutions. I hope the decision-makers don’t have children or incontinence issues! Read what the British Toilet Association has to say about it! http://www.btaloos.co.uk/?page_id=850

    • I remember when a human could go to a toilet without worrying. Now. To go out with my grand children there mom has to hide the girls so they can have a wee. So embarrassing. The older grand child said. Nan this isn’t right. Someone nasty could b watching. I knew what she meant.

  2. Are they really considering not reopening the most important seaside loos in Margate for the sake of just £7000. That seems a drop in the ocean compared with the general waste of public money on other projects and traveller expenses with court fees every few weeks. What must our visitors and tourists think of the area? This is disgusting to be honest.

  3. As a new resident into Margate,I too was disgusted by the toilets on the pier.I sent a email October 2018 offering a solution to look at costs to repair the toilets.To this date I have not received a return email.Why wait for TDC?Why can’t we as Margate residents start our own campaign to raise funds by asking for donations,cleaning the beach, streets anything to raise funds?Why can’t we ask local tradesmen to support this cause?I will happily meet anyone who’s serious about this situation.Lets not talk about it.Lets do something about!

    • I agree except that by doing so we are letting TDC off the hook. It is outrageous. We will have to start a renewed campaign and embarrass them in to spending money where it is needed. We are a tourist town. The lack of toilets near the beach is an absolute disgrace.

  4. Oh come on, £7000? That’s a piddling amount for TDC to find.
    I think it is disgusting. Get the toilets open now!

  5. £3,000,000 to refurbish the Council Offices is approved but £7,000 to refurbish public toilets is not.

    Clearly the lunatics are still running the asylum . . .

    • Hi, have just edited. She said “several thousand” rather than “seven thousand” I misheard her.

      • I will happily donate time and electrical
        Materials to reinstate the toilets and £100 if this helps!!Lets not standby and do nothing …Talk is cheap!!If it is several thousand pounds I’m sure we can raise this..I will put my money where my mouth is…Margate will be massively busy and the toilets need to be in operation ASAP.

        • I couldn’t free with you more here. They can afford to open the toilets they’re just choosing not to! I think we should all complain to Cllr As Ashbee write to her everyone! [email protected]

      • Then hopefully “several” thousand pounds is likely to be less than “seven” thousand pounds !

        It just makes TDC’s stance even more pathetic. Is this a decision influenced by Officers or Elected Members ?

  6. It’s an absolute disgusting outcome. 3000 visitors a day in the peak of summer. That’s 3000 using the toilet 3 X a day. That’s 9000 visits to one tiny block. What about people with illness’s, disabilities, elderly, young children? All they seem to care about is lining their own pockets. Margate will suffer for this.

  7. I could understand it more if it was tens of thousands of pounds but “several thousand”? Come on. This is ludicrous. From what I hear from people who work there there is so much wasted money this money could be found in minutes. This is embarrassing

  8. Nothing gets done for “several thousands” in the world of council spending, with the structural issues and the fact that they were well past their best, there’d be no change from 250k by the time it was finished.
    Swanage council built a new modern toilet block near the beach and it cost them half a million.
    If the council had’nt frittered away 6 million on its animal exports escapade , thanets outlook would be far rosier.

  9. I think the decision not to reinstate toilet facilities in a town which encourages visitors to our great beaches, which are provided by nature and thankfully not. TDC! This Council provide themselves with astronomical wages which rise every year and they do less work. Why should we the ratepayers of Thanet tolerate incompetence ? If the council are unable to plan their budget move aside and let’s put . Look at Hermes Bay , walk along their promenade and admire the wonderful flower beds, then look at the scruffy approach to Margate the Roundabout adjacent to the Railway Station is a disgrace! If they can’t do the job councillor Ashby and her minions on the Council should make way for people with PRDE!

  10. Several thousand pounds? Is that all! To give locals and visitors toilet facility and TDC wants businesses to own their doors and let the public use them regardless of whether they use the premise for buying food or drinks. You really have got to be having a laugh on the public. How dare you? When you pay out huge amounts in unwarranted legal fees and expenses for senior officer accommodation and far too much in your pay scales for executives and you do nothing with regards to several pounds outlay on toilets. Absolutely sickening.

  11. Thanet Council would rather make pointless gestures about climate change than getting on with providing the basic services that we expect from them, one of which is maintaining our public toilets.

    • All the drains are blocked by Tivoli road so when it rains it gets flooded,but let’s spend £3million on painting council offices,toilets not going to be replaced,yay let’s spend £3million on painting council offices, fantastic what does our rates go on in Thanet,naff all that’s what

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