TOILETS in Brighouse town centre are among six public toilet blocks set to re-open in Calderdale as wider parts of the economy get ready to open up again as coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions are eased.

More parts of the economy are being allowed to re-open from July 4 and town centres are anticipated to get busier making it increasingly likely visitors will need to spend a penny.

But the COVID-19 pandemic means re-opening Calderdale’s loos is challenging, and they will only be ready to receive visitors by Tuesday, July 7, says the council.

To help support the reopening of local businesses and enable those with certain medical conditions to get out and about, Calderdale Council is reopening one toilet block in each of the borough’s main towns.

These will be the toilets at Albion Street in Halifax, Thornton Square in Brighouse, Town Hall Square in Elland, New Road in Hebden Bridge, Wharf Street in Sowerby Bridge and Brook Street in Todmorden.

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The locations have been chosen as they are all self-contained, individually accessed unisex facilities, which will help to reduce the risk of infection transmission, and each block will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

The council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration and Resources, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot), said the blocks will be subject to additional cleaning with frequent “touch points” disinfected.

Users are asked to help maintain hygiene standards between cleans by following the advice in the increased signage in place in all facilities, she said.

“As lockdown restrictions ease and more of our local businesses begin to reopen, we want to support visitors to our town centres by providing toilet facilities.

“We know this is especially important for those with disabilities or certain medical conditions.

“It also makes life easier for parents with young children who may need to find facilities urgently.

“Of course, safety remains our priority and it’s important that the reopening of facilities is done in line with public health guidelines.

“At present, we’re limiting the number of open toilets to six self-contained blocks within our town centres to ensure we have adequate staff resources to allow for additional cleaning.

“We ask for the co-operation of all users to ensure that the facilities are used responsibly, remain as clean as possible and limit risk to our staff by ensuring hygiene standards can be maintained,” she said.

Coun Scullion said it should also be reiterested that it is important to maintain good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water before and after use, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face and follow the “catch it, bin it, kill it” guidance.

Regular checks of facilities will take place to ensure there is sufficient soap available, she said.