Whilst COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, the Council is seeking to install temporary toilet facilities in three high footfall areas in the borough.
It is hoped that restrictions are going to be relaxed over the months ahead, but the Council is conscious that it will be some time before things return to ‘normal’. Therefore, proposals have been agreed to move forward with plans to install temporary toilets on Richmond Green, Richmond Riverside and Twickenham Green.
During the first lockdown, the borough saw a rise in anti-social behaviour as a result of the good weather and closure of pubs, bars, and restaurants. Richmond Council held a series of public meetings to listen to resident concerns and determine how best to tackle these issues, especially concerns of public urination. The Council opened all public toilets within its control, increased the payment to businesses who joined the Community Toilet Scheme, and worked with local businesses to remind them to ensure that the sale of alcohol was carried out responsibly. In addition, COVID Marshals worked alongside the Police to inform and educate revellers on appropriate and safe behaviour.
Despite this, residents on Twickenham Green, Richmond Riverside and Richmond Green found that their property was still a target for those looking to relieve themselves.
It is hoped that the temporary facilities will provide respite for those in the local area, provide facilities for what we envisage will be an increase in visitors, and encourage those visitors to Richmond and Twickenham to be responsible and respect our borough.
Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Services Committee for Richmond Council, said:
“We have worked really hard to try and get people to understand and comply with the rules. That includes both residents and businesses. Throughout the pandemic it has been incumbent on us all to play our part.
“Whilst the majority of residents have abided by the restrictions and made sacrifices to make sure we all stay safe, a small number of selfish people have made the lives of people who live in Richmond and near Twickenham Green extremely unpleasant, urinating and defecating on or near their homes.
“We have always been clear that temporary toilets are very expensive, and not a long-term solution. However, as the restrictions are still going to be in place for some months, we need to make this investment for the sake of our residents and those who wish to enjoy our open spaces responsibly.”
The Council is now working with local businesses and groups on the plans to install the facilities over the coming weeks. Each of the sites would be serviced five times a week, including a deep clean. Each facility would also have an attendant present for eight hours a day, to ensure social distancing and regular cleaning. Accessible facilities will be provided in 2 of the 3 sites with the third site proposed close to existing disabled toilet provision.
– from a Richmond Council press release - 18 March 2021