Letter: Not flushed with closing Barton beach toilets
SIR – The proposal to shut down the public toilets in Barton “because the prefab block was only meant to be temporary and has reached the end of its lifespan” (A&T, 19th February) seems another typical council response to the alternative of scratching the noggin, putting in some work and finding a solution.
While few people favour doing their business in a public rest area – much less in the open, such facilities are a necessary evil. This doesn’t mean we have to squander the planet’s (or more importantly New Forest District Council’s?) resources for personal hygiene when greener alternatives exist.
Public loos provide the only safe place to perform basic hygiene tasks for many.
Fortunately, many alternatives exist that can make public facilities far more environmentally friendly than they are currently, and making improvements helps our severely impacted world while still protecting human health.
Perhaps looking towards greener options such as:
• hand-washing facilities over the flushing system so that water is reused. That in turn improves and maximizes on the space with everything in one cubicle, and the privacy of washing hands there and then, lessening germ transmission onto door handles.
• bidets which reduces the use of toilet paper
• compostable toilets
• change old lighting and hand drying options to solar, sensor and led bulbs
Rather than the current drab structure of a traditional long block of loos, have four loos back to back in a cube so drainage and pipe work is effectively concentrated, and made to blend in and look like the beach huts, which offers a neater, more accessible option where more cubes can be spread out over stretches of beach.
All these, done properly with thought, should work well, eventually costing less than the old style toilet.
Instead of the dogged determination to wipe things out and not to change, we seriously need an attitude adjustment in all we do and how we do it, even how we ‘spend a penny’ – which the council have £30,000 of in this instance.
I hope NFDC be constructive not destructive with these pennies in regard to the “options” they claim are still being drawn up.