Liquid-repelling paint helped in 'war on wee' during Cheltenham Festival

Thousands of people flocked to see the horse racing in March. Credit: Cheltenham Borough Council/PA

Council bosses in Cheltenham admit they will “never get rid of public urination” during race week but say their “war on wee” ideas helped reduce the number of complaints.

Cheltenham Borough Council made hydrophobic paint, which repels liquids, available to businesses and residents in the town.

Some 23 residential properties and business premises were supplied with the paint. More toilets were also provided in the town.

The authority only received four complaints about public urination this year, according to a report which looked at the successes and lessons learnt from the 2023 festival.

Louis Krog, head of public protection at the council, said the hydrophobic paint was useful and helped those who took up the offer.

However, he told the overview and scrutiny committee that the council needs to roll it out “properly” to see its full effect.

Mr Krog said: “If this authority wants to roll that out again, that decision needs to be made early on and the money needs to be identified early on.

“To allow officers to do a proper job and see the maximum effect of that. Generally speaking, we felt this year’s event went much better.

“There were still issues around traffic management and public urination but on the whole it was a much better result with far fewer complaints.”

However, he also said the additional rollout of toilets around the town displaced the issue along alleyways.

“People were just finding an alleyway even though there were toilets available. Post Office Lane was particularly badly affected,” Mr Krog added.

“That Post Office Lane and the alley or Ormond Place where there is a car park at the back or businesses was also particularly badly affected.

“We are never going to get rid of public urination during race week, some people just choose not to use the toilets we make available.”

Credit: Carmelo Garcia/Local Democracy Reporting Service.