Council keeping its eye on loos

NORTH Somerset Council is monitoring how many people are spending a penny in public loos across the district.

The authority has installed counting devices in all of its 28 toilets to see how many people use them, with the least popular ones expected to be closed if they cannot be transferred to parish councils or private businesses.

The Times reported earlier this year that the council hopes to save �400,000 by transferring its responsibilities for running toilets from 2013/14 to other authorities or businesses.

The devices, installed in the toilets in July, work through a beam which is activated by each person entering the toilet.

Concerns have been raised by some council members that no consultation was carried out before the devices were installed. Also, the counters are situated about 4.5ft off the ground, which means they could miss young children passing through toilet entrances.

A council spokesman said: “This exercise is being carried out over three months in order to allow for any seasonal variations with tourism.

“We hope the figures we collect as part of this will provide accurate details of which toilets are used the most, the least, and enable us to make any future decisions regarding public convenience provision.”