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Go-ahead for unisex toilets around town

ALL PUBLIC toilets around Bognor Regis are set to become unisex.


Firm backing for the policy of replacing its current loos for men and women with gender neutral ones has been given by Arun District Council’s senior members.


The council’s cabinet unanimously agreed on Monday to endorse the opening of the unisex provision wherever it was reasonably practical and appropriate.


Council leader Cllr Gillian Brown was the only councillor to comment about the matter. She said she was committed to the new provision set to be seen on Bognor Regis seafront this summer when new loos open.


“In certain locations, new facilities are being provided, new for old. One of those is the Bognor Regis promenade.


“When there is going to be a refurbishment of existing facilities, as and when it becomes necessary, exactly the same provision of unisex toilets will take place.”


Unisex toilets had been provided for several years at a few sites around the district, she said. They included West Park in Aldwick.


“These have been operational for some years without any complaints,” said Cllr Mrs Brown. “We have to remember that toilets for disabled people have always been unisex everywhere. That’s just the norm.


“My personal opinion is that these toilets are much safer. I know when I used to take my children, and now grandchildren, I much preferred it when I took them in with me to a unisex toilet. It is a much safer environment.”


As reported, some district councillors have been unhappy with the installation of unisex loos. They claimed the decision should have been made by council members rather than officers.


But a report by the chief executive, Nigel Lynn, to the cabinet stated the provision of toilets had always been decided by officers as part of the regular maintenance and review of council-owned buildings.


“Most people will understand that what might have been acceptable language and behaviour as recently as the late 1990s would not be tolerated today,” he stated.


“For the majority of the population born after 2000, the provision of self-contained toilet cubicles is highly unlikely to be an issue.”


He added this was shown by the 200,000 visits a year to self-contained toilet cubicles in Chichester city centre.

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