Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Toilets plan does not hold water
Among the most basic of human rights is to be able to spend a penny.
The network of public conveniences around the country have been a source of much-needed relief to most of us on occasion because no matter how busy our lives get, or where we go, we still must always answer the call of nature.
So, on the face of it, a scheme to provide more opportunities to use the loo would appear to be a good one.
Bradford Council is looking at encouraging local businesses such as pubs, cafes and shops to open up their toilets to the general public, not just their regular clientele.
The so-called SatLav scheme would allow people to find out, by using their mobile phones, where their nearest toilet was.
So far, so good. But a longer view must be taken. More publicly-available toilets can only be a good thing, but only if they are in addition to the more orthodox municipal bathrooms, not as a replacement for them.
Scaling down the hours that public conveniences open, as has been suggested in tandem with this scheme, or closing them altogether, is simply not an option.
Not everyone who needs public toilets will be happy to go into a pub or restaurant, especially if they are elderly or have children. And the pubs or restaurants who have been asked to participate might find that the public trooping through their premises merely to spend a penny is not so good for business.
Also, those who might use public toilets the most – pensioners, for example – might not have the necessary technology to avail themselves of “SatLav”.
We all appreciate that the Council must do its utmost to save money, but this idea seems destined to be little more than a flash in the pan.