Test Valley Borough Council have today launched a pilot Community Toilet Scheme in Andover with free of charge toilet facilitiesavailable in Costa Coffee, Caffè Nero and the Redbridge without an obligation to make a purchase.
The scheme, which has proven successful in other towns, replaces the facilities at George Yard, which will close on Monday 17th July.
The Council took the decision to temporarily close the toilets in George Yard last year in the interest of public safety. We regularly found used needles and other drug paraphernalia left in the cubicles and on one occasion, a member of our cleaning staff suffered an injury caused by a hidden needle.
Unfortunately, the facilities at Borden Gates were also used by drug offenders and these facilities have been closed for some time.
We have been working with the police to try to eradicate the problem with no great success, and we employed a security guard to enable us to re-open the block at George Yard to make the public feel safer. The presence of a security guard was always a temporary solution and, in order to carry out our duty to protect the public and our staff, we have now launched the Community Toilet Scheme which is a much safer approach to providing facilities free of charge.
We have based the concept on similar schemes that have proven to work well in other towns where participating businesses have reported increased footfall and trade as a result.
Costa, Caffé Nero and The Redbridge have all displayed a sticker in their windows to show that they are part of the scheme. With Costa open from 7am and The Redbridge open until 11pm, the hours of operation have increased substantially from the 8am to 6pm that the Council's public toilets were open.
I would like to thank the participating businesses for their support. Any other businesses in Andover town centre who are interested in participating in the scheme, which in return will receive a small fee, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Address: Cllr Phil North, C/O TVBC, Beech Hurst, Weyhill Road, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 3AJ.
Call: 077324 23023