A LANDSCAPER from Oxford has hit out at a politician’s promise to bring “world class toilets” to the city.

Oxford City councillor John Tanner said in April 2013 he wanted to bring “world class” toilets to the city, with the local authority launching a £450,000 scheme to bring all of their 21 public conveniences up to scratch.

But Paul Noel, from Thomas Street, has said the facilities in Gloucester Green are far from the standard the councillor promised.

Mr Noel, 57, said: “I hate it when politicians make these bullish comments that are totally unnecessary.

“These toilets are in a prominent position by the market and bus station and they are used a lot. But you will find two of the three cubicle doors are in need of adjustment or were poorly fitted.

“When using the market recently I popped into the Gloucester Green toilets. A chap in the middle cubicle was draping a length of toilet paper over the gap between the door and frame, keeping his dignity while using this ‘world class’ facility.”

Mr Noel, who worked as a landscaper for 20 years, said the toilets were not being vandalised or abused but were simply not built for the number of people who use them.

Mr Tanner, who is on the board for Cleaner, Greener Oxford, said the toilets at Gloucester Green were a huge improvement to the old facilities.

He added: “Unfortunately not everyone who uses the toilets uses them in a world class way. We inspect toilets as often as we can and repair damage as soon as we can.”

Mr Noel also questioned the term “world class” when describing the toilets and asked why they could not just be simple and effective.

He said: “What even are world class toilets? I don’t even know what the definition is. It’s about time politicians stopped making outlandish statements and just gave us a functioning toilet.

“If it’s going to be used a lot we need to make sure it’s appropriately designed. Let’s just get real. All we want is a properly functioning, effective toilet. We don’t want them to be world class. It’s just a public convenience. We just want it to be simple, effective, clean and the basics.”

Work started on revamping the toilets at Gloucester Green in April 2013 and Oxford City Council spent about £100,000 on them.

Mr Tanner added: “Around the world there are toilets that are a pleasure to use and in Oxford we want to make sure our toilets meet that standard.

“We want to be up with the best. I apologise to the public and to Paul, when the toilets have been damaged we do hope people report it.

“We have had a programme of refurbishment across Oxford to the highest standard. I think this has been successful.”

  • What do you think of the public toilets in Oxford? Email megan.archer@oxfordmail.co.uk to share your views.