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Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is seeking your views regarding its current provision of Public Toilets across the district and how this service can change in the future. At present Newry City has just one Public Toilet at Newry Market. The consultation follows  a call for more public toilets in Newry city by community representative John McCabe reported previously on Newry.ie Check story here WWW.NEWRY.IE

The derelict former public toilets at Railway Avenue in Newry.
The derelict former public toilets at Railway Avenue in Newry.

The Council has no legal responsibility to provide public toilets, however, the strategy concludes that the Council should continue to provide a Public Toilet Service and that a range of improvements should be considered including increasing provision, reviewing opening hours, functionality, cleaning practices, maintenance, corporate branding and advertising.

There is recognition within the Public Toilet Strategy that such improvements whilst having a value, are at a cost, and so consideration on how such costs can be paid for must be considered and agreed as part of any planned improvements.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “Public Toilets are an essential public service, this is something we all have had an opportunity to fully appreciate during this pandemic.  I would encourage all residents, businesses and visitors, to take the time to complete the questionnaire which is seeking views on the recommendations within the strategy”. 

The Council operates and maintains thirty-one publicly accessible toilets throughout the district. 

The Strategy considers whether the Council should only consider its existing thirty- one Public Toilets as being its Public Toilet provision or if it should seek to include other buildings. The Strategy also recommends that the Council seek, where appropriate, to widen the scope of what is a Public Toilet to include other buildings in its own ownership, other public-sector buildings and participating private businesses.

The strategy considers a range of new developments and technologies used within Public Toilets across the UK and Ireland. The introduction of charging for entry has been acceptable for many years in parts of the UK. The Council’s Public Toilets are free to enter; however, the use of charging has been used by other local authorities as a means of curtailing the anti-social behaviour and vandalism that frequently is directed at free-access Public Toilets.

The public consultation period for the Public Toilet Strategy will run for a period of 12 weeks from now to Friday 12 February 2021. For further information check the council's Public Toilet strategy at WWW.NEWRYMOURNEDOWN.ORG and to complete the questionnaire please visit WWW.SURVEYMONKEY.CO.UK

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