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.
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.
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.
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’