Public toilets overhaul ready for summer season

Overhaul of Thanet's public toilets Photo TDC

A number of public toilets across Thanet have undergone a deep clean, a plumbing overhaul and had new energy efficient LED lights installed.

Maintenance at the loos, as well as a fresh coat of paint, has been carried out at West Bay and St Mildred’s Bay in Westgat, Buenos Ayres (Eliot Shelter) in Margate, Joss Bay, Broadstairs Harbour and Viking Bay in Broadstairs with further works planned this month at The Centre (Mill Lane) in Margate, Botany Bay in Broadstairs and Pier Yard in Ramsgate.

Works to toilet buildings including rendering, roofing repairs and windows will be carried out between May and July at Broadstairs Harbour, West Bay, St Mildred’s Bay and Pier Yard Ramsgate.

Joss Bay loos

Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Cleansing and Coastal Services said: “The public toilet provision in Thanet is something we’ve been working hard to manage and I’m really pleased that we’ve got to this point in plenty of time for the upcoming summer season.

“They’ve been given a full programme of repairs, roofing and external repairs, new plumbing, fittings, replacement tiles and sealant where needed and are looking spick and span. The introduction of LED lights is going to improve energy efficiency, a small change that contributes to us delivering on our Net Zero pledge.

“We know that lots of people rely on decent public toilets being available when they’re out and about. It makes a real difference if the facilities are clean and well maintained.

“I also very much hope that they won’t be vandalised and the staff employed to clean them will be able to do their jobs without being abused by the small minority who don’t respect our isle.”

Viking Bay loos

There are plans to undertake site analysis and propose options to Cabinet for the Clock Tower toilets in Margate and those at Botany Bay in preparation for works in 2025.

In December Thanet council agreed to spend £1.25 million on the first phase of improvement works to public toilets across the district. Councillors were told there is potential for spending to increase to £1.5m subject to a further sum of £250k being approved via external funding.

a recommendation has been made to build a new toilet block at Stone Bay in Broadstairs, which will include accessible facilities.

It was also proposed to reopen the subterranean toilets located at Margate Main Sands along with the creation of a new accessible toilet at promenade level. New accessible toilets will also be provided at Botany Bay under the plans.

The investment is the start of an anticipated wider and longer term programme of public toilet improvements which is subject to further funding being secured.

The list of all the council’s public toilets, alongside their opening hours can be found on the website:

Thanet council’s £1.25m plan for works to improve isle’s public toilets


  1. What they really need to do is keep them open in the winter months. Absolutely ridiculous that there are NO toilets between Margate and Broadstairs (a 6 mile walk/cycle ride), or do they think everyone stays indoors during that time?

    • I couldn’t agree more. Pointless doing them up if they are then closed for months at a time from September onwards. Even if they are just open at weekends during the winter that would be a big step forward.

      Come on Labour. Surely you can find the cash to do this. Are we an all year tourist destination or not ?

      • Labour will only fix the toilets if the Tories say “we will not fix the toilets”. But then Labour will wait and see if their voting base will back them…. then maybe inch forward and then blame the slow progress on the Tories.
        Just fix the damn toilets and keep them open year-round. Please.

  2. It looks like Westbrook Bay has been forgotten again. I’m sure it was originally on the list, but the purchase of the Loggia building by Tracey Emin seems to have not progressed at all and we are left with poor toilets and no refreshment facilities for another summer unless Morelli’s step in with their mobile van once again.

  3. 1.5 million pounds seems alot of money to spend on toilets I guess most of that is paperwork and looking at opening times it’s really disgusting that most will be closed by 5.30 which is ridiculous for a summer season surely better to close around 8pm would be a better time

    • Probably won’t be enough if they really want to reopen the underground toilets on margate beach AND build an accessible toilet at street level. That is of course assuming all the works are done properly and aren’t just a quick bodge to make things look new and shiny but then need redoing in a few years.
      Swanage council built a brand new toilet block about 10 years ago , it cost half a million even then and that’s by a council that has a decent notion of cost controls.
      Remember that TDC is a council that had a 20% cost overun on removing waste that had seemingly built up unnoticed to 20 times the amount it should have. Hardly inspires confidence.

  4. “real world”, you are unfortunately correct. New CCTV would assist in deterring these people and regular council cleaning visits. Plus, police undercover surveillance, with name and shame on conviction in the local newspapers.

  5. These public convenience refurbs are Years overdue. Both Tory and Labour administrations have wasted tens and tens of thousands of pounds in funding port a loos through out Thanet over the past five years or so instead of implementing a programme of toilet refurbishment far sooner.
    It really isn’t rocket science .

    Cllr whitehead in earlier isle of Thanet pieces responded to similar criticisms by stating that local authorities have no legal obligation to provide public toilets, whilst this may be the case what does this say about the council and its administration .
    The situation of public toilets was so bad that it took Tracy Emin to raise the matter locally and for the dire state of public toilets in Margate to find its way to the national press .
    So please Cllr Albion a little contrition and a little less self satisfaction .

  6. It would be nice to have the toilets in the centre of town repaired, being open after 5pm, and you never know they may even provide some hot water.

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