‘Spending a penny’ to become a lot cheaper

The public conveniences at CVastle Lane, Lurgan . Picture Googe Maps.
The public conveniences at CVastle Lane, Lurgan . Picture Googe Maps.

‘Spending a penny’ in Lurgan is about to become a lot cheaper - with the Council moving to scrap the 20p charge at its ‘facilities’ on Castle Lane.

The Castle Lane loos are currently the only public toilet in the council area that has a ‘staffed access charge for members of the public’.

For the personnel manning the loos at present the plan is to move these staff into Lurgan town centre to provide litter picking, cleaning and bin emptying duties.

This, it is hoped, will improve services for the public and local businesses alike

Waiving the 20p fee will mean the loss of revenue of £5,600 per annum, the council’s Environmental Service Committee was told.

Council officers are ‘content that this loss can be absorbed within budgets’.

The council currently operates 33 public conveniences across the borough.

The committee was told: “The removal of the £0.20 charge from this site will not only harmonise the service to the public but provide an opportunity for council to consult with the staff based in Castle Lane about increasing the scope of their current role.

“The outcome expected from this consultation process is to mobilise these staff into Lurgan town centre area to provide litter picking, car park cleaning and maintenance, monitoring and emptying of town centre bins etc.

“This additional service enhancement should realise positive benefits to the business community, and members of the public accessing Lurgan town centre.”

The committee also heard: “Officers are not aware of any equality or good relations implications.”

The Environmental Service Committee accepted a recommendation to approve the removal of the 20p access charge ‘thereby aligning to a consistent charging method across all sites, and commence consultation about service enhancements in Lurgan town centre.

The recommendation from the committee is now subject to ratification by full council.