‘Toilet scheme isn’t working’

LOO ROW: Cllr Charmaine Parkinson and Cllr Mike White are promoting the Community Toilet Scheme

LOO ROW: Cllr Charmaine Parkinson and Cllr Mike White are promoting the Community Toilet Scheme

First published in Letters to the Editor

I KNOW the Echo has covered this topic with some vigour but may I comment further as a local trader and as a member of the traders’ association.

The introduction of community toileting on Ashley Road is simply not working.

The scheme should not have been put into place without six consenting businesses as there would not be significant cover along the road. We have three: one is a supermarket, one a pub, the other a small café.

The reaction I get from asking people what they think of using these premises (females I admit) is unanimous, none would enter a pub, none think it correct to use a café and the use of a high end supermarket as a replacement public toilet is a joke.

Local people are totally bewildered as to why there are no public loos.

We are getting reports from shops within the immediate area of the Jubilee Road toilets of people using the rear of their premises as a relief stop, (having made their way to the loos to find them closed), to the extent that we believe this is a serious environmental health hazard.

One shop manageress will not allow her young female staff to exit the rear of the premises fearing what they will see.

Cllr Dion is strongly defending the position of the council and quotes astronomical figures to re-open our main hub toilets, but she does not have to trade here and seems only bent on a crusade to remove as many public costs as possible and sadly we are caught in the middle.

Apparently there is no law to force the council to provide public toilets but morally there really should be.

It’s unfair to place Waitrose in the position that they find themselves in at present (they have the only disabled loo on the road with clear access) and I personally feel they did not open to become Ashley Road’s public loo.

There are now petition forms in many of our shops urging the council to overturn an ill thought out scheme and I implore local people to sign as a matter of urgency as the council need to listen to public opinion and stop telling us what they our representatives want for us and not what we want of them.

MIKE OCKENDON, Just Michael Hair, Ashley Road, Poole

Comments (8)

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3:44pm Tue 26 Aug 14

grazzer says...

Oswald Bailey originally joined the scheme then closed their shop shortly afterwards.lf these 2 events were connected fingers crossed that this doesn't set off a chain reaction among the other participants
Oswald Bailey originally joined the scheme then closed their shop shortly afterwards.lf these 2 events were connected fingers [and legs] crossed that this doesn't set off a chain reaction among the other participants grazzer
  • Score: 4

5:19pm Tue 26 Aug 14

we-shall-see says...

Confused as to why there is a pic of Hamworthy councillors - they are promoting the "community toilet" scheme at Hamworthy in this pic, which was taken inside the library here :o/

As to the wider problems of such schemes within the Borough - I am totally and utterly against them. As someone with a medical problem which means I need to use the loo frequently, I now no longer shop at Ashley Road or Hamworthy and have not done so since this ridiculous scheme began in May.

So for the traders of Ashley Road and Hamworthy who would normally have taken in excess of £100 per week from my purse in the supermarket, Iceland and other shops at Hamworthy (Co-Op and newsagent) - I sincerely apologise, but cannot possibly wander around every shop until I find one who will let me use their loo. Medically, I simply cannot wait that long.

I haven't heard any complaints from the traders at Castlepoint though. They seem perfectly happy to accept my cash each week.

Own goal to Poole as far as I am concerned.......
Confused as to why there is a pic of Hamworthy councillors - they are promoting the "community toilet" scheme at Hamworthy in this pic, which was taken inside the library here :o/ As to the wider problems of such schemes within the Borough - I am totally and utterly against them. As someone with a medical problem which means I need to use the loo frequently, I now no longer shop at Ashley Road or Hamworthy and have not done so since this ridiculous scheme began in May. So for the traders of Ashley Road and Hamworthy who would normally have taken in excess of £100 per week from my purse in the supermarket, Iceland and other shops at Hamworthy (Co-Op and newsagent) - I sincerely apologise, but cannot possibly wander around every shop until I find one who will let me use their loo. Medically, I simply cannot wait that long. I haven't heard any complaints from the traders at Castlepoint though. They seem perfectly happy to accept my cash each week. Own goal to Poole as far as I am concerned....... we-shall-see
  • Score: 12

5:43pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Ebb Tide says...

Our predecessors, no doubt at great expence, provided our public loos. Maintenance of them has been neglected and needs to be done at a relative fraction of the original cost of land and buildings. Useful land and buldings are always so expensive.

Public health is protected by such investments. We need no law to ensure pollution is reduced and public health protected - it is a 'no brainer'. unless, of course, you are a Councillor that is not in touch with his/her electorate and therefore does not have much to bring to the table at a Council meeting as any sort of "representative".

Temporary 'mothballing' of our assets may well be appropriate for some, whilst other options are tested but the tests to date have proved that most of the toilets should be bnrought back into use. It is noted that the seafront toilets have not been closed yet, which must be a relief for those with medically enhanced needs ! Our shopping zones similarly require proper facilities if they are to thrive : current tests prove the point to any sane person.

It seems essential to say : "Ill health in exchange for reducing cash expenditure is not an affordable investment".

Stating the obvious is a real source of concern about the quality of our elected decision-makers (and their support staff) for whom we pay so much. Such expenditure (involving poor or non-existent "public engagement") is where the value-for-money tests should be applied by the electorate. If my elected representative did not relate to my needs then I would not vote for that person to be my representative - hopefully you will do the same.
Our predecessors, no doubt at great expence, provided our public loos. Maintenance of them has been neglected and needs to be done at a relative fraction of the original cost of land and buildings. Useful land and buldings are always so expensive. Public health is protected by such investments. We need no law to ensure pollution is reduced and public health protected - it is a 'no brainer'. unless, of course, you are a Councillor that is not in touch with his/her electorate and therefore does not have much to bring to the table at a Council meeting as any sort of "representative". Temporary 'mothballing' of our assets may well be appropriate for some, whilst other options are tested but the tests to date have proved that most of the toilets should be bnrought back into use. It is noted that the seafront toilets have not been closed yet, which must be a relief for those with medically enhanced needs ! Our shopping zones similarly require proper facilities if they are to thrive : current tests prove the point to any sane person. It seems essential to say : "Ill health in exchange for reducing cash expenditure is not an affordable investment". Stating the obvious is a real source of concern about the quality of our elected decision-makers (and their support staff) for whom we pay so much. Such expenditure (involving poor or non-existent "public engagement") is where the value-for-money tests should be applied by the electorate. If my elected representative did not relate to my needs then I would not vote for that person to be my representative - hopefully you will do the same. Ebb Tide
  • Score: 4

6:06pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Jeff in Parkstone says...

Mike Ockeendon ... your letter in the Echo today forgive me but you are about 3 months behind what we (residents) have been saying since June - and earlier.

As for six consenting stores - have you not looked at the Minutes ?

Were you not at the meeting when officers consulted with ARTA ?

Ashley Road Traders (yourself, Richard, and the rest of your committee) advised council several businesses had agreed to take part : "Traders in Ashley Road were consulted about the possibility of participation in the Community Toilet Scheme whereby, in conjunction with the Council, toilets on their premises were made available for public usage. Feedback was positive and several businesses agreed to take part."

There are three phrasings of this but the general point was clear there was "positive feedback" from ARTA and "several outlets" were interested.

But now none of you - most particularly Richard Wilson re his comments today - want to take any responsibility for the whole business do you.

We all agree shocking they closed down but no less shocking Cllrs on the scrutiny commtee, esp Marion Lepoidevin for the ward with the toilets who should have thoroughly qestioned the whole "proposal", did not - they all with no questions voted to recommend closure. And that is knowing full well from January through to June there were only three outlets ...

But did they do anything ? - raise any opposition ? - not at all. They (Eades and Leopod) organised a photo-shoot outside the toilets to tell one and all in the ward they whole-heartedly supported close down. And this clearly encouraged by the views of Cllr Vikki Slade (fellow Lib Dem) who owns Molly's cafe part of the toilet scheme in Broadstone. Good for Broadstone she makes clear to us (in her view) and so on Cllr Eades/Lepod's thinking "must" be good for Ashley Road ...

So in the end Mike we end up in this situation in my view because we've ended up with a clique in Ashley Road have we not - a couple of Cllrs (one party only not the two for Ashley) and what five or six traders in yr committee, and then and critically telling council officers that several outlets are "interested" and that then coming to nothing. As if retail stores would open up private toilets ...

As for Richard speaking of a case for maladministration that goes no-where - it goes into council then into complaints and bounces round there for months (although you might be asked into a pacifying meeting). Council bats these off pretty much every week. And likewise sorry but a petition - Poole Council is so shot they havn't even got a "petition scheme" up on their web-site ... outcomes are entirely council discretion. In this case they will point out the closure decision was cleared "unanimously" by Cllrs in scrutinty, and in any case there is no money ...

Although there is an e-petition scheme - but then we (residents) did all this three months ago (attached) might as well tossed in the sea. No interest from Cllrs - no interest from council - and indeed no support all the months from your group.

The fact you are now running a petition is then down to Clements and Lepoidevin isn't it - and they launching it now knowing full well it is highly unlikely to have any consequence - except that is as in your letter and Richard's comments today deflecting blame from themselves to council/Cllr Dion that it is their fault not reversing decision ... in all jumping in circles though council hoops that will lead no-where ...

The time to have stopped closure was in January when it went to the scrutiny comitte but the Cllrs all voted it though like ducks ... complete and utter failure on their part. And now Cllr Lepod wants to blame everyone else - she was "misled" she said !! ... and these the cllrs whose job is specifically to "scrutinise" proposals put to them. But they didn''t - not least it seems happily "misled" by ARTA commtee telling one and all several outlets were interested. And officers I am sure happy with that outcome - that their proposals were accepted and approved.

And Waitrose - they signed up for the scheme didn't they. But then of course they don't have the capacity - you know Jubilee in use up to 400 times a day. But this all lost on the Cllrs ...

And council itself - Cll Xion et al - they will close all and everything they possibly can. Everything is going - leisure, libraries, toilets - the lot. The only hope is vigorous opposition - and we don't have that. Instead all we've got is Cllrs passing the buck - anything but take responsibility for the recommendation they voted through. And likewise traders need to step up and take resposibility for advising council that several outlets were interested.

And we (residents) know more than you on the consequences you cite in your letter - we live 24/7 in our roads where shrubs now stink of sewerage - and the alleyways. And that for me all falls on Ashley traders group and ward Cllrs .... council and cabinet we expect to deal out closures, our Cllrs to stop this happening ...

And finally Mike referring to traders as a clique will not be well received but I stand by it. All credit to all trying to improve matters and I've done a huge amount over the years myself including taking a lead to form an Ashley assoc in 2006, and again 2012 leading to your current assoc - but having a commtte of six, and Richard with no business in Ashley now for over a year, you cannot claim Mike to speak for Ashley Road. You may have 40 members (paying £10 a year which means very little - £20 a month when we set up in 2006) but you cannot claim to speak for the high street unless in a case like this you make wide inquries all along the high street.

In this case three hours on the central parade told me in June the whole scheme was a non-starter - and that abundantly clear from the start to any Cllr in January who was taking note what was going on. No retail outlets open their toilets to the public - its near unheard of - and cafes too limited capacity ...

In the end we agree the toilets should not have closed - but from there on we clearly see it differently. I take the view a lot of this falls on ARTA - far better, to speak plainly, if you had a chair who was actually running a business in Ashley, to be in the high street every day. A matter of elligibility to run any association. I mean where do we end if anyone from anywhere can run associations ?

And from there on speak for your group, not for the whole high street. If ARTA had restricted council input to your group you would have told council there were a couple of outlets that would sign up (in your group - Waitrose. Rowenas, and Oswald Bailey) and from there on you did not know.

And that is the truth is it not. You didn't know, officers were misled, Cllrs not up to the job (too close by far to your group) and it all ends in disaster - and for none more so than our road - Jubilee Road - which now stinks ....

No offence is intended here but if issues are not spelled out I don't see we ever make any progress. Still 2014 no summer florals - there will be no main high street Xmas lights - there will be no installed living christmas tree (vicar not in favour) - and now not even any toilets. No small group can manage all these large issues - which takes us back to main meeting summer 2006 (70 attended) the need is for a fully inclusive high street chamber of commerce - and to get that is needed a full high street meting. We did it in 2006 - it is needed again ....

Jeff Williams

Jubilee Road
Mike Ockeendon ... your letter in the Echo today forgive me but you are about 3 months behind what we (residents) have been saying since June - and earlier. As for six consenting stores - have you not looked at the Minutes ? Were you not at the meeting when officers consulted with ARTA ? Ashley Road Traders (yourself, Richard, and the rest of your committee) advised council several businesses had agreed to take part : "Traders in Ashley Road were consulted about the possibility of participation in the Community Toilet Scheme whereby, in conjunction with the Council, toilets on their premises were made available for public usage. Feedback was positive and several businesses agreed to take part." There are three phrasings of this but the general point was clear there was "positive feedback" from ARTA and "several outlets" were interested. But now none of you - most particularly Richard Wilson re his comments today - want to take any responsibility for the whole business do you. We all agree shocking they closed down but no less shocking Cllrs on the scrutiny commtee, esp Marion Lepoidevin for the ward with the toilets who should have thoroughly qestioned the whole "proposal", did not - they all with no questions voted to recommend closure. And that is knowing full well from January through to June there were only three outlets ... But did they do anything ? - raise any opposition ? - not at all. They (Eades and Leopod) organised a photo-shoot outside the toilets to tell one and all in the ward they whole-heartedly supported close down. And this clearly encouraged by the views of Cllr Vikki Slade (fellow Lib Dem) who owns Molly's cafe part of the toilet scheme in Broadstone. Good for Broadstone she makes clear to us (in her view) and so on Cllr Eades/Lepod's thinking "must" be good for Ashley Road ... So in the end Mike we end up in this situation in my view because we've ended up with a clique in Ashley Road have we not - a couple of Cllrs (one party only not the two for Ashley) and what five or six traders in yr committee, and then and critically telling council officers that several outlets are "interested" and that then coming to nothing. As if retail stores would open up private toilets ... As for Richard speaking of a case for maladministration that goes no-where - it goes into council then into complaints and bounces round there for months (although you might be asked into a pacifying meeting). Council bats these off pretty much every week. And likewise sorry but a petition - Poole Council is so shot they havn't even got a "petition scheme" up on their web-site ... outcomes are entirely council discretion. In this case they will point out the closure decision was cleared "unanimously" by Cllrs in scrutinty, and in any case there is no money ... Although there is an e-petition scheme - but then we (residents) did all this three months ago (attached) might as well tossed in the sea. No interest from Cllrs - no interest from council - and indeed no support all the months from your group. The fact you are now running a petition is then down to Clements and Lepoidevin isn't it - and they launching it now knowing full well it is highly unlikely to have any consequence - except that is as in your letter and Richard's comments today deflecting blame from themselves to council/Cllr Dion that it is their fault not reversing decision ... in all jumping in circles though council hoops that will lead no-where ... The time to have stopped closure was in January when it went to the scrutiny comitte but the Cllrs all voted it though like ducks ... complete and utter failure on their part. And now Cllr Lepod wants to blame everyone else - she was "misled" she said !! ... and these the cllrs whose job is specifically to "scrutinise" proposals put to them. But they didn''t - not least it seems happily "misled" by ARTA commtee telling one and all several outlets were interested. And officers I am sure happy with that outcome - that their proposals were accepted and approved. And Waitrose - they signed up for the scheme didn't they. But then of course they don't have the capacity - you know Jubilee in use up to 400 times a day. But this all lost on the Cllrs ... And council itself - Cll Xion et al - they will close all and everything they possibly can. Everything is going - leisure, libraries, toilets - the lot. The only hope is vigorous opposition - and we don't have that. Instead all we've got is Cllrs passing the buck - anything but take responsibility for the recommendation they voted through. And likewise traders need to step up and take resposibility for advising council that several outlets were interested. And we (residents) know more than you on the consequences you cite in your letter - we live 24/7 in our roads where shrubs now stink of sewerage - and the alleyways. And that for me all falls on Ashley traders group and ward Cllrs .... council and cabinet we expect to deal out closures, our Cllrs to stop this happening ... And finally Mike referring to traders as a clique will not be well received but I stand by it. All credit to all trying to improve matters and I've done a huge amount over the years myself including taking a lead to form an Ashley assoc in 2006, and again 2012 leading to your current assoc - but having a commtte of six, and Richard with no business in Ashley now for over a year, you cannot claim Mike to speak for Ashley Road. You may have 40 members (paying £10 a year which means very little - £20 a month when we set up in 2006) but you cannot claim to speak for the high street unless in a case like this you make wide inquries all along the high street. In this case three hours on the central parade told me in June the whole scheme was a non-starter - and that abundantly clear from the start to any Cllr in January who was taking note what was going on. No retail outlets open their toilets to the public - its near unheard of - and cafes too limited capacity ... In the end we agree the toilets should not have closed - but from there on we clearly see it differently. I take the view a lot of this falls on ARTA - far better, to speak plainly, if you had a chair who was actually running a business in Ashley, to be in the high street every day. A matter of elligibility to run any association. I mean where do we end if anyone from anywhere can run associations ? And from there on speak for your group, not for the whole high street. If ARTA had restricted council input to your group you would have told council there were a couple of outlets that would sign up (in your group - Waitrose. Rowenas, and Oswald Bailey) and from there on you did not know. And that is the truth is it not. You didn't know, officers were misled, Cllrs not up to the job (too close by far to your group) and it all ends in disaster - and for none more so than our road - Jubilee Road - which now stinks .... No offence is intended here but if issues are not spelled out I don't see we ever make any progress. Still 2014 no summer florals - there will be no main high street Xmas lights - there will be no installed living christmas tree (vicar not in favour) - and now not even any toilets. No small group can manage all these large issues - which takes us back to main meeting summer 2006 (70 attended) the need is for a fully inclusive high street chamber of commerce - and to get that is needed a full high street meting. We did it in 2006 - it is needed again .... Jeff Williams Jubilee Road Jeff in Parkstone
  • Score: 20

6:39pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Carolyn43 says...

Wonder what the response from Cllr Dion will be when there's a outbreak of a serious illness caused by this so-called "scheme".
Wonder what the response from Cllr Dion will be when there's a outbreak of a serious illness caused by this so-called "scheme". Carolyn43
  • Score: 24

8:14pm Tue 26 Aug 14

rubberbandman5 says...

Hi Mike, you raised some valid points and explained in graphic detail the events that happen when no public toilets are provided. Some of us that are worldly wise told Poole Council what a stupid idea it was to close the loos, but they went ahead. And there I'm afraid lies the problem, most of the Poole council are stupid and in desperate need of a reality check at the next election. It's only by voting out the useless order of Lib-Lab-Cons which only have a fag paper of difference between them on ridiculous decision making, that we can get UKIP into control and sort out the mess made by their incompetence over the last three decades - their only achievement appears to have been abject failure on everything they decide? VOTE UKIP
Hi Mike, you raised some valid points and explained in graphic detail the events that happen when no public toilets are provided. Some of us that are worldly wise told Poole Council what a stupid idea it was to close the loos, but they went ahead. And there I'm afraid lies the problem, most of the Poole council are stupid and in desperate need of a reality check at the next election. It's only by voting out the useless order of Lib-Lab-Cons which only have a fag paper of difference between them on ridiculous decision making, that we can get UKIP into control and sort out the mess made by their incompetence over the last three decades - their only achievement appears to have been abject failure on everything they decide? VOTE UKIP rubberbandman5
  • Score: 45

10:46am Thu 28 Aug 14

Ebb Tide says...

rubberbandman5 wrote:
Hi Mike, you raised some valid points and explained in graphic detail the events that happen when no public toilets are provided. Some of us that are worldly wise told Poole Council what a stupid idea it was to close the loos, but they went ahead. And there I'm afraid lies the problem, most of the Poole council are stupid and in desperate need of a reality check at the next election. It's only by voting out the useless order of Lib-Lab-Cons which only have a fag paper of difference between them on ridiculous decision making, that we can get UKIP into control and sort out the mess made by their incompetence over the last three decades - their only achievement appears to have been abject failure on everything they decide? VOTE UKIP
Not sure any party can lay claim to being 100% useful. Voters need to appraise each candidate, irrespective of background funding for those costly election expenses.

The implicantion of candidates funded by a party could mean that such candidates may have to provide 'paybacks' in the form of support or abstention from a decision they do not like and so undermine the democratic consensus.

Voters ought to vote for the personal characteristics of the candidate seeking to represent their whole Ward and not vote for the associated party however colourful / fashionable.

It is a shame that there is a real difference between "is" and "ought". Will we never learn ?
[quote][p][bold]rubberbandman5[/bold] wrote: Hi Mike, you raised some valid points and explained in graphic detail the events that happen when no public toilets are provided. Some of us that are worldly wise told Poole Council what a stupid idea it was to close the loos, but they went ahead. And there I'm afraid lies the problem, most of the Poole council are stupid and in desperate need of a reality check at the next election. It's only by voting out the useless order of Lib-Lab-Cons which only have a fag paper of difference between them on ridiculous decision making, that we can get UKIP into control and sort out the mess made by their incompetence over the last three decades - their only achievement appears to have been abject failure on everything they decide? VOTE UKIP[/p][/quote]Not sure any party can lay claim to being 100% useful. Voters need to appraise each candidate, irrespective of background funding for those costly election expenses. The implicantion of candidates funded by a party could mean that such candidates may have to provide 'paybacks' in the form of support or abstention from a decision they do not like and so undermine the democratic consensus. Voters ought to vote for the personal characteristics of the candidate seeking to represent their whole Ward and not vote for the associated party however colourful / fashionable. It is a shame that there is a real difference between "is" and "ought". Will we never learn ? Ebb Tide
  • Score: -27

1:13pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Marty Caine says...

When I questioned Marion Le Poidevin over the Jubilee Rd toilets at the last Branksome West Residents Association, she openly admitted it had not all gone according to plan and they are looking at reopening them. If this is the case then why is Cllr Dion stating the the scheme is working when we all know otherwise. Get your act together Poole council and get those toilets reopened before too much damage is done both environmentally and economically for the Ashley Road traders.

It is fine for Cllr Dion to state that the council does not have a legal obligation to provide toilets but as a councillor she does have a duty of care and did sign a Code of Conduct agreement, which seems to have been forgotten in respect of supplying a basic need for the people in respect of public toilets.

Why is it you have no problem with supplying toilets for the travelling community that don't actually contribute to your earnings?
When I questioned Marion Le Poidevin over the Jubilee Rd toilets at the last Branksome West Residents Association, she openly admitted it had not all gone according to plan and they are looking at reopening them. If this is the case then why is Cllr Dion stating the the scheme is working when we all know otherwise. Get your act together Poole council and get those toilets reopened before too much damage is done both environmentally and economically for the Ashley Road traders. It is fine for Cllr Dion to state that the council does not have a legal obligation to provide toilets but as a councillor she does have a duty of care and did sign a Code of Conduct agreement, which seems to have been forgotten in respect of supplying a basic need for the people in respect of public toilets. Why is it you have no problem with supplying toilets for the travelling community that don't actually contribute to your earnings? Marty Caine
  • Score: 20

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