Too expensive to spend a penny? Councils closing public toilets as part of budget cuts

Public toilets are becoming few and far between, as council budget cuts take effect. ITV News Presenter Faye Barker has the latest

Councils across England are increasingly choosing to close public toilets as part of budget cuts.

Research by ITV News has revealed that residents in some towns will now struggle to find any such facilities in use.

Woking Borough Council, for example, says it has closed nearly all of its public toilets as part of measures to save £8 million.

The trend has sparked concerns from members of the public who have questioned whether it is now too expensive to spend a penny in their local area.

Helen Ince told ITV News that a lack of public toilets could create issues for people with specific medical needs - such as pregnant women or those living with diabetes.

She said: "Feeling that awkwardness, one of the big things also is thinking these kind of venues aren't always open.

"You know they're open during the working day, for example, might close about 5pm, and then it might be pubs or other things that are open."

In the last decade, the British Toilet Association (BTA) estimates that half of standalone toilets have closed.

Three quarters of people surveyed by the BTA now feel there are not enough public toilets in their area, while one in five said they are leaving home less often as a result.

Some community groups in an effort to tackle the issue themselves have decided to take on the maintenance of public toilets in their area. For example, in the Scottish town of Biggar.

Mike Chad, a member of the volunteer group in Biggar, told ITV News that the group's formation had turned a mood of "anger and frustration" into one of "support and enthusiasm for this new project".

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