There was an interesting report on BBC Online yesterday which said:
"Some UK High Streets and public spaces no longer have any council-run public toilets, the BBC has learned.
"At least 1,782 facilities have closed across the UK in the last decade, Freedom of Information requests found.
"Ten areas, including Newcastle, Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales and Wandsworth in south London, now have no council-run public toilets at all, data showed.
"The Local Government Association said councils were trying to keep toilets open but faced squeezed budgets.
"Public toilets have existed on UK High Streets for more than 150 years but there is no legal requirement for local authorities to provide toilets, meaning they are often closed down if councils feel they cannot afford the upkeep."
Local pressure saved Audlem's toilets when they were closed five years ago. They were taken over by the village, £25,000 was received in a grant from Cheshire East to have them completely refurbished and they have since won a Gold award in the Loo of the Year competition.
They also have the geographical distinction of being 'The first toilets in the North of England – or the last as you leave the North.' See second photo.
When they were re-opened, they were featured on BBC1's The One Show as 16 of Manchester's 17 public conveniences were closed at roughly the same time, meaning Audlem then had as many open public loos as the City of Manchester.
Imagine the discomfort for so many at the Festival this weekend if the toilets had stayed closed – next time you are desperate in Audlem, be thankful for those toilets and those that fought to keep them open – Mike Hill and Bill Consterdine!
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