News And Finally

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Fans face battle to spend a penny

Published 16/06/2014 | 14:02

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Unison warns that more than £10 million has been cut from spending on public loos

Soccer fans have a World Cup-sized challenge to find a loo after watching late night games because so many public toilets have closed through spending cuts, a union has warned.

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Unison said more than £10 million has been cut from spending on public conveniences over the past two years.

Some councils are spending 13% less on maintaining and repairing public conveniences, with the biggest cuts in London and the North West, said Unison.

Many areas have been left without public toilets because facilities have closed, causing problems for workers such as street cleaners and refuse collectors, the union said.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: "It is only right that people should be able to enjoy a great sporting event like the World Cup a carefree way with family and friends, but there is a clear risk to public health when there are so few public toilets available for people to use when they need them."

The union's national conference in Brighton called for improved toilet facilities for mobile workers.

Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said: "Public toilets are an important local service. If councils stopped flushing away taxpayers' money through bad procurement, bloated bureaucracy and fraud, they could find the savings to protect frontline services and keep council tax down."

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