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‘Spend a penny’ price hike upset
11:00am Saturday 22nd March 2014 in News
PLANS to increase prices at most public toilets in West Oxfordshire have come under fire.
West Oxfordshire District Council is considering increasing prices for 11 of its 13 facilities from 10p to 20p.
At present men and women pay to use cubicles, with use of male urinals free.
But the Conservative-run council is reviewing whether to charge everyone an entrance fee for all facilities.
It also wants to cut summer opening hours from 10.30pm to 7.30pm at all toilets and close “under-used” facilities at Oxford Road, Eynsham.
The council said the moves are needed as it spends £220,000-a-year on maintenance but only gets £11,600 in charges, which it introduced in 2004.
Mayor of Chipping Norton Mike Tysoe said: “I would like to see it free of charge.
“It’s a bit like if you go to a pub you expect to be able to have a pee for free.”
Mr Tysoe, a member of Chipping Norton Town Council, said: “It’s one of those things we all have to do at some stage and it would be nice to think the local authorities can lay these facilities on for free.”
He said: “I think it’s a bit unfair that they don’t charge boys but charge the girls. It’s a bit sexist.”
The affected toilets are Bampton Town Hall; Burford High Street and Guildenford car park; Black Bourton Road, Carterton; Browns Lane, Charlbury; Chipping Norton Town Hall; Back Lane, Eynsham; The Leys and Langdale Gate, Witney, and Browns Lane and Hensington Road car park, Woodstock.
There are no charges at New Street, Chipping Norton.
Cabinet member for the environment David Harvey said: “The cost of electricity, heating and cleaning has gone up so the cost of a pee will have to go up as well.”
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