Toilet gate over in Thornbury thanks to new scheme
TOILET gate has found a happy resolution in Thornbury thanks to two accommodating pubs.
The Swan and the Wheatsheaf Inn have agreed to join the town council's community toilet scheme and open their loos to locals and tourists for free seven days a week.
The initiative, which aims to resolve the shortage of public loos in the town, launch on March 1.
Sandra Davies, owner of the Swan on the High Street, told the Gazette signing up to the scheme was the logical next step as the pub often made its toilets available to non-customers.
"Very often we get people coming in and using the facilities without drinking or eating here so I thought we may as well open them up," she said. "Obviously additional cleaning will be carried out to ensure that our customers still have clean and presentable facilities," she said.
Helping the elderly also motivated her to sign up to the scheme .
"Many in the community in Thornbury are elderly," she added. "The Swan doesn’t have any steps to negotiate and it's central, so it’s ideal for them."
As part of the scheme, the two pubs will receive funds from the town council towards cleaning costs and toilet paper.
With the Quaker Lane toilets padlocked for months due to repeated attacks by vandals and the facilities’ general state of disrepair and the Castle Court automated loos also out of action, the situation for visitors and locals had gone from bad to worse over the past few months.
Thornbury Cllr Guy Rawlinson stumbled upon the idea after a visit to a Lancashire town where businesses, subsidised by their local council, had made their toilets available to non-customers.
He said: "People have commented upon the fact that the loo on Castle Court is not being used and the one on Quaker Lane has been condemned and the cost of refurbishing that was unrealistic. We’ve found a solution. These pubs are prepared to go down that route and we thank them for it."
It is hoped that more businesses will join the community toilet scheme in months to come.