Your Song Rita Ora
8 October 2013, 09:39
Lots of shops, cafes, pubs and other public places in Portsmouth are offering up their loos to non-paying customers.
The likes of Greggs and Debenhams on Commercial Road and the Wightlink ferry terminal have signed up to the council scheme.
It's because cuts mean they can't afford to run as many public toilets.
Businesses or organisations who make their loos available can benefit from increased visits to their premises.
Mumms Café in Southsea was one of the first premises to sign up.
Manageress Helena Lucas said:
"On the last Albert Road Day event, lots of people had trouble finding a loo.
''We opened ours up to women and children and people spent money in here or left tips.
"We've always been relaxed about people using our loo if they need to.
''Joining the scheme goes with being part of the community."
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the council, said:
"As most people know, the council is having to deal with cuts to the money it gets from the government.
''We can't afford to directly run as many public toilets as we would like.
"This scheme is a sensible way of providing facilities, with community-minded businesses and organisations, where people might need them.
"It's similar to schemes run in other areas of the country, which work well.
"We're part of the scheme too, because we're opening up toilets accessible to the public in our offices, libraries and museums.
"I'm really pleased we're announcing the first community loos. We're talking to more premises and more will be opened soon."