Temporary loos will not be installed in Margate this Summer

The sight you won't see in Margate this Summer Photo Rob Yates


Thanet council will not be putting temporary loos in Margate this Summer.

The authority installed the temporary loos on Margate seafront during the May bank holiday because of the closure of the Clock Tower toilets  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. Incoming water meant the electrics were condemned.

But it has now been confirmed that loos will not be hired for the summer season.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “Despite the closure of the Clock Tower toilets, we will not be adding temporary loos in Margate this summer.

“There are already several existing facilities within the town that people can use. If there are events, the organisers are responsible for providing additional toilets if it has been set out as a requirement by our safety advisory board.”

The closure of the Clock Tower facilities prompted a petition organised by Labour councillor Rob Yates  requesting that Thanet District Council immediately rescinds its decision to close the toilets.

Cllr Yates said of the latest decision: “It is outrageous that the council is saving money by closing toilets and then not even putting up temporary loos.

“TDC continues to ignore the need for temporary toilets at the closed clocktower toilets in Margate in peak holiday season. The situation is maddening. Just last week I was promised by Gavin Waite, who runs operational services at the council, that the harbour arm toilets would be improved in the next few days. Nothing has been done!

“As a new councillor, I find it very upsetting that the head of operational services is misleading new councillors and I hope that this will be rectified quickly. What is the point of beautiful blue flag beaches when there are not enough adequate toilet facilities. “
The toilet closure was also the cause of a public protest outside the council offices in Margate in April.

However, the facilities will not be reopened.

Earlier this month deputy council leader Cllr Ash 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 Ash Ashbee

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

Cllr Yates  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.

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 toilets at Buenos Ayres (by the TS Eliot shelter) and on the Harbour Arm in Margate remain open.


  1. I would like councillor Ashlee to spend some of her workday down on Margate seafront Broadstairs Beach and look at the queues to the toilets and how disgraceful they are …if it means charging to have more council attendants to keep them clean then so be it .
    You live in your ivory towers making decisions when in fact we are also a tourist area. For goodness sake you and Bob Bayford get you head out of the clouds and listen to local people

    • She’s probably got her own personal toilet so could not care about anyone else who needs to spend a penny.

  2. Well said Lynne it is also a completely stupid idea using shop toilets as not all have them and most people come of the beach with no shoes on then they have to walk hundreds of yards to nearest toilet not toilets wait for twenty minutes to get in you going to have a mess everywhere kids can’t wait like that when they want to go they bloody well have to do you TDC actually want MARGATE or THANET to be known as the toilet of Kent as that is what will happen if you go ahead with your absolutely stupid idea. TDC the COUNCIL that want its people and TOURISTS to do it in the street are you sure crackpot idea charge 10p a go will soon recoup most of cost. Why is Margate beach popular with tourists (1)close to the station (2) Toilets close to beach (3) fun for kids on beach the 3 main things parents look for when going to the seaside not everything revolves around the Turner centre.


    That applies to both paid officers and elected members.

    There has always been public toilets at both end of the Margate beach. (Before the current building by the TS Elliot shelter, they too were underground).

    Can somebody at TDC please explain why an increasing number of day trippers now need less toilet facilities ?

    New slogan to promote Margate : “COME TO SUNNY MARGATE – BUT BRING YOUR OWN POT TO PISS IN ‘COS WE AIN’T GOT NONE”. (To be followed by a rousing chorus of ‘Down to Margate).

    • The more day trippers means more money for the businesses in Margate not more money for the council. It’s means more beach/town cleaning and fixing broken things that tourist break. It also means more time spent replying to every homeowner that is annoyed that tourist have parked on their road to go to the beach.

      • So what is your solution Bob ?

        Do you want to stop tourists coming and using the beaches ?

        Do you want to stop tourists coming and parking on our roads ?

        Would it be better for the Beach Inspector to patrol the beach handing out rubbish bags rather than hiding in his hut – thereby reducing the rubbish left on the beach ?

        Would it be better for Enforcement Officers to patrol the streets issuing fines for illegal parking – thereby generating an income for the Council ?

        • I am just responding to your over dramatic headline calling everyone in the council and elected members a shower of shite. I think it’s a complete over reaction just because portaloos are not being provided. To start with understand why it’s not the council’s responsibility and the shops in the area getting revenue in should assist with sustaining the tourist growth. There are still council toilets just not as many, maybe the shops put the hands in their pockets and provide portaloos why should we have to spend public money as said before council use lots of resource and money for tourism. What about the people making money on the beach where is their commitment to keeping Margate tidy. It’s easy to blame the council the big companies like Costa weatherspoons are fine to make a profit and add little back for the day to day running of tourism but it’s all the council’s responsibility and and if they don’t provide portaloos every one that works hard at the council is a shower of shite. Not the million pound companies making profit on the tourist it’s the council. My solution is the members of public stop moaning to the council about people parking legally and the town council with local business buy some portaloos for your tourist or advertise your toilets.

          • bob – my comment applies to far more than the toilets issue. TDC fails on many more issues and many more levels.

            You claim that it is not TDC’s responsibility to provide public toilets. Wow ! What century are you living in ? Why did councils provide and maintain toilets in the first instance ? How has it now been concluded that the number of toilet facilities that are provided can be reduced when visitor numbers are increasing ?

            Your solution seems to be that shops should pay extra for the provision of the toilets. How are you planning to assess and collect the extra contributions ? Additional payment is not likely to be forthcoming on a voluntary basis, more especially in light of the fact that those shops are already paying business rates to TDC.

            Wetherspoon, for instance, already provides toilets for its own paying customers. Why would Wetherspoon want to pay extra money to also provide toilet facilities for the general public ?

            Your next suggestion is for the beach concessionaires to be responsible for keeping the area clean. They also pay business rates so I don’t think your suggestion will be particularly well received there either.

            I am unsure how your proposed “solution” of the public not complaining about legal parking is going to change anything. TDC mostly ignores all complaints in any event. Perhaps if there was an active approach to illegal parking, that would produce not only a reduction in complaints but also a revenue which could pay for the toilets to be repaired.

            Your next suggestion is for the responsibility for providing toilets to be passed to the town council. Perhaps this is your only sensible suggestion. The town council can increase the precept that is added to the council tax bill and the money will then be forthcoming to provide the toilet facilities.

  4. You could,nt make this story up , it,s just unbelievable , we,re in 2019 and can,t even provide facilites for the basic human function of needing the toilet !

  5. So here we go again, how many times do i have to post stuff like this ? STOP voting for these twats , STOP putting them power, vote only for those who WILL put margate first . This is a great town but its run by self indulgent monkeys. Either vote them all out ,stand up for margate,or stop moaning .

    • Paul, you obviously haven’t lived in Thanet very long.
      The blue lot, the red lot and the independent lot have been, over the years, as useless as each other.
      I don’t know what the answer is to such poor governance. Sigh.

  6. Would you want to use on on a day like the day ??? The aroma would eye watering. Why would holiday makers come to thanet, not even the normal smelly loo’s let alone hot portaloos

  7. Would you want to use one on a day like today ? The aroma would be eye watering. Why would any holiday maker want to come to thanet. Not even the normal smelly loo’s let alone a portaloo !! Do our councillors ever go to other seaside towns where they have toilets, nice flower beds , no weeds , nice grass areas ?? Thanet no loo’s, no nice flower beds, weeds everywhere and grass cut twice if you are lucky . I wouldnt recommend thanet to anyone

  8. Councillor Ashbee is making a name for herself as one to make unpopular decisions, it was her department that butchered the hedge around the Winter Gardens and she is the one blocking even a temporary solution that might benifit the thousands residents and visitors that are filling Margates main sands can enjoy.

  9. It’s amazing that any of the councillors cannot honestly speak the truth about this matter which they seemed to be completely silent on. If you treat your visitors like this eventually they will treat the area like you treat them. They’ll either tell others on social media about the complete contempt the council have for tourist and local people, who add to the local economy by spending money here in their holiday time and go elsewhere like Hernebay who offer good value for money, a tidy and welcoming sea front and a council that want tourists to enjoy their stay. Thanet Council why are you not dealing with the simple tasks first. Several thousand pounds to get fixed a community facility. It’s so embarrassing for all you councillors that sit there silent and agree with this.

  10. Surely adequate toilet facilities must be a condition of maintaining a “Blue Flag”. What do the presenters of the Blue Flag Award have to say?

  11. Is she also the one that doesn’t make sure the public litter bins are emptied in Margate High street? Each time I have visited over the past few weeks they are overflowing with litter all around the ground underneath too. The state of the pavement is a health hazzard with black sticky filth, chewing gum flem and cigarette ends all over. This is disgusting and obviously the area needs more attention urgently. Is this too much for this council to deal with. They seem to be against tourism in the summer months so much that it is embarrasing for those of us who live here.

  12. It’s not just Margate. Thanet generally is filthy. Really dirty and filthy. Rubbish strewn all over the streets, bins overflowing and dog poo everywhere. Yet every year the Council Tax goes up and the level of service goes down the drain The whole Waste and Recycling Service is so shambolic you have to seriously ask the question why arent more local Councillors all over this issue and pushing hard for improvements?

  13. At least Margate beach, Northdown road and a few surrounding Margate roads get swept and cleaned regularly in the summer, Poor Ramsgate once again is the forgotten one with filthy streets all over the summer season. It’s dispiriting to see all the councils money and attention being spent in Margate with nothing but scraps left for Ramsgate.

  14. Kent Resident and Thanetian Blind Ramsgate Broadstairs and Margate are all equally deprived of regular rubbish collection you would expect a holiday /tourist area council to have the rubbish bins emptied in the evening or first thing in the morning before 8am as a matter of priority as tourists will report the state of the cleanliness of the area and I have to say that it is below par to say the least boarderin on disgusting we may have the best quality beaches in the country and this is marred by the streets and lacking of toilets.

  15. This is not a council for the people of Thanet.
    Money is not well spent on needed seafront facilities, but obscene money to be spent on council offices, maybe come of the beach SAND and all and spend a penny in your over expensive — not needed– office.

  16. Wow, that’s truly amazing well done TDC. Not only have you sky rocketed parking costs which is disgusting for locals, you remove ability to use a public toilet and get everyone in thanet hiked up council taxes to pay for a new council office that’s not viable I think investment is needed but whomever is making these desperate decisions is incompetent. Abomination of local Parliament and council support to its community. Let alone going back over stupid decisions such as the original Turner debacle or the stupidity behind the concept TDC can run a successful theme park all its done is cost your local tax payers. I’m paying toward a park I will never use which opens when it feels like it or on a whim which will never ever turn a profit its a noose. It’s the second biggest waste of money I’ve witnessed here. 7k for some toilets ridiculous can’t be listed can they? Better still take away 1 night of fireworks that’ll pay for the toilet repairs… Oh know TDC loves burning money for no return. Fireworks =temporary pleasure for an hour? Public toilets= permanent pleasure to thousands throughout the year. Lmao its more political and community just in the monkey enclosure in London Zoo. Don’t get me started on the stupidity.. Honestly Ashamed.

    • So much misinformation here from Mark…

      1. Whether you dislike either the very concept of the Turner or its architecture, it’s existence is at the root of the revival of the fortunes of Margate as a year-round destination as opposed to just somewhere to visit in the summer and on fine weekends. It’s a shame that Ramsgate doesn’t have something similar going for it other than just the Tunnels and the Royal Harbour.

      2. Compared to many places, full day parking in Margate is *not* excessively expensive in my view. £7 on Arlington Tower Dreamland Car Park. True it was only £5 earlier in the year, but not that bad now. Also there are lots of places where roadside parking is free and even the Mill Lane Car Park off the High Street is free on Saturdays.

      3. TDC do not *run* Dreamland. It is currently operated by Sands Heritage Ltd who are financed by Arrowgrass. Also I have no idea why the Goddens keep being referenced in relation to Dreamland as theirs was a historical involvement and not a current one.

      4. TDC do *not* fund the fireworks at Broadstairs. I quote from the relevant Web pages. A lot of the money comes from sponsorship…
      “A very special thank you to Broadstairs & St Peters Town Council, other sponsors and volunteers that make these events possible.”

      The one point I can agree with is the idiocy of this decision not to do something about the toilets. However, whatever way you look at it this ultimately comes down to money, and as we all know this doesn’t grow on trees. A ‘CrowdFunding’ initiative has been suggested by some, but even if the capital were to be raised, TDC would still need to retain responsibility for upkeep. Alternatively, a Community Toilet scheme is a possibility.. it works well in many parts of London. Sure.. there is the added complication of bare, sandy feet and dress that might be considered inappropriate in a suburban environment, but a ‘dress code’ notice isn’t out of the question, surely?

  17. Why would anyone want horrible looking stinking portaloos on our seafront? It’s a nuisance, but there are toilets the other side of the beach. They stood outside an office protesting where the decisions aren’t even made making it hard for the customer service staff to do their job. I would like to know how many of these protesters even have used these toilets on a regular lives or just looking for a tiny purpose because they have nothing better going on

  18. Must give a big thumbs up for the guys who spent hours this morning cleaning the beach of the disgusting mess left by our “welcome” visitors.
    However,FIX THE PUBLIC TOILETS!I have seen numerous children using the beach as a toilet because there is nowhere else to go!
    Margate is tourism,don’t destroy it council by penny pinching.

  19. It really is beyond belief that a beach like margate has no toilets how can you expect people to come spend their moneyand not to be able to use the toilet and wash their hands l think it is aboutley shocking and l feel ashamed of the situation we are in

  20. Typical council move to save money, but money on mobile phones for staff and proposed upgrades of offices, If I came as a visitor for the day I would not return as facilitie are just not available for the disabled. Rejuvenate Margate T.D.C. you have to speculate to accumulate remember it is better to be remembered for your success rather than your failings

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