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Town centre visitors will have to hold on a little longer to use public toilets

By Kerry Ashdown | Stafford | News | Published:

Shops may be reopening across Stafford – but town centre visitors will have to wait a little longer to be able to spend a penny in the council-run public toilets.

The public toilet block in Crown Street Stone

Stafford Borough Council operates public conveniences in Stafford, Stone, Eccleshall and Milford, but they have been closed during the lockdown as part of measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Disabled access toilets in Stone’s Crown Street and Stafford’s Broad Street remain open to users with RADAR keys however.

At Eccleshall Parish Council’s first virtual meeting this month on June 17, Councillor Gordon Dale said he had been asked by a parishioner when the town’s public toilets in Stone Road would reopen.

Jeremy Pert, who represents Eccleshall on Staffordshire County and Stafford Borough councils, responded: “Public toilets are closed across the borough as councillors will know. They were closed originally when the full lockdown was put in place.

“The Government is keen to get toilets to reopen because they provide a public benefit. The issue is how we will ensure safety to members of the public using these toilets.

“It’s easier when you have higher volume toilets like Stafford and Stone where you can close one so you have a clean down between when people use them. In Eccleshall, where they may only be used a couple of times a day that’s not necessarily the best use of manpower.

“The Local Government Association has provided some advice and we need to do this when it is safe to do so. As soon as we have an answer I will come back to you – but it is not something we are sitting on or sleeping on.”

Stafford Borough Council has said that plans are in place to reopen the main toilet sites before July 4 – the day pubs and hairdressers can begin to welcome back customers too. Updates on when public toilets will reopen will be given on the council’s website.

Each public toilet facility has been looked at to see what is needed to re-open them.

Council spokesman Will Conaghan said: “Preparations are already underway to make sure the public toilets are safe to open in our town centres including sanitising work, extra signage to encourage good hygiene and social distancing, and increase in the frequency they will be cleaned.”

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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