More public toilets in Sheffield are set to close after city wide consultation

This public toilet on Devonshire Green is set to close after only 22 people responded to a city wide consultation. Sheffield Council claim the closure of five public toilets in the city will save �100,000.
This public toilet on Devonshire Green is set to close after only 22 people responded to a city wide consultation. Sheffield Council claim the closure of five public toilets in the city will save �100,000.
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Five more public toilets in Sheffield are set to close leaving one solitary loo in the city.

Sheffield Council has confirmed just 22 people responded to a public consultation and has now decided to close them down.

Town Hall bosses said the need to find savings of 
£50 million for the financial year is behind the closures.

It is thought £100,000 of maintenance costs will be saved each year.

The toilets set to shut are on Devonshire Green and Angel Street in the city centre, Staniforth Road in Darnall, Birley Moor Road in Frecheville and Holme Lane in Hillsborough.

Sheffield’s only public loo to avoid the chop is on the lay-by on the A6102 at Deepcar junction.

But there are plans to create a public toilet with full disabled access at Hillsborough precinct because there is need in that area.

Council figures show the toilets were used only five times a day on average.

The Birley Moor Road loo, the least popular, was only used 357 times in the whole of 2014.

Coun Sioned-Mair Richards, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at the council, said: “The Government is making yet more cuts to local government funding.

“Over the last five years we have had to find savings of £300m and we are expecting another £50m in the coming financial year.

“We know that public toilets are an essential facility.

“However, in these times of austerity, it is simply not cost-effective to keep running these automated toilets which, in some cases, aren’t even used as often as once a day.

“The fact that the toilets aren’t used was also reflected in the fact that so few people took part in the public consultation. We will now be closing these automated toilets, while ensuring there is other provision where people need it.”

A council spokesman added: “The changes have come about because the five automated toilets are linked to Sheffield City Council’s advertising contract, which is expiring.

“The maintenance costs of these five facilities are currently paid for by the company that provides them, which gains an income from the advertising on the units.

“However, from next month the advertising will stop and the maintenance costs – an estimated £20,000 per year per facility – will have to be paid for by Sheffield City Council.

“This means that the average cost to the council for each use of the toilet would be just under £10.

“People who use the toilets pay either 10p or 20p, depending upon the site.”

Information obtained by The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign last year showed almost all the city’s 29 public on-street toilets from a decade ago have been sold, closed or demolished.