We aim to provide accessible, clean toilets in the most appropriate locations.
There is no requirement for councils to provide public toilets although historically many councils have chosen to do so. Over the past few years the number of traditional public toilets provided of funded by councils across the UK has significantly decreased. Another trend is that some traditional public toilets are now managed and/or maintained by local communities.
We currently provide many more public toilets than the Welsh average. Through a contract we provide 72 of these: 52 have disabled facilities, one has an adult changing place facility and 19 have baby changing facilities.
We have reduced the number of traditional public toilets that we provide in 2014. Our strategy was to encourage community groups or Town and Community Councils to take these on, and as a result, the cost of running 15 traditional public toilets was taken on by local community groups. Also some private businesses whilst not advertising their facilities as public toilets, do allow the general public to use them without making a purchase.
In association with our contractor Danfo UK Ltd, we have been able to carry out several large-scale capital investments recently. In 2017 the Saundersfoot Regency car park toilet block was knocked down and rebuilt to provide a state of the art facility. In 2018 the toilets at Tenby the Green where renovated to include our first Adult Changing facility located at a public toilet block. Our plans for investment will continue in 2019 when we will be opening a new toilet block on the Chimneys Link Road development in Fishguard and plans are currently being finalised for a new toilet block in Haverfordwest in place of the multi storey car park facility. In addition there have been a number of small scale enhancements such as roof repairs, new doors and other general maintenance activities.
Pay to use toilets were introduced in phases from July 2015. This has generated an income, which contributes towards the running costs of the toilets, therefore keeping costs down and allowing us to maintain more facilities. Currently ten toilet blocks charge to use. Cashless payments were introduced at all turnstile operated toilets in May 2018 for added customer convenience in acknowledgment that many people do not carry cash with them anymore or have the right change to use the toilets, this will hopefully reduce the damage from theft associated with the coin mechanisms.
There are, however, limitations to what we can achieve. Many of the toilets are in old buildings, which can often make them difficult to maintain and some are in need of significant investment and the current investment fund is very limited. Unfortunately toilets are also a magnet for anti-social behaviour including drug taking and vandalism. This often affects opening hours and in the past has resulted in temporary and permanent closures.
We understand the value of these facilities to communities and through this strategy will be actively looking to retain as much public provision as possible in Pembrokeshire despite the very severe financial reductions faced. The production of this strategy does not mean that all existing provision provided by Pembrokeshire County Council will remain. However, we will take a strategic view across our County on how these facilities can be provided and accessed both now and in the future, through innovative ways of working and collaboration with others
Thank you to everyone who completed our Needs Assessment Response Form. The information provided has been invaluable in helping us identify priorities for the Draft Strategy.
You can give your views by completing our online response form
Please respond by Tuesday 5th March 2019