There are good ideas, bad ideas and then there are the totally crap ideas (Pun intended)
Last year Mid Sussex District Council discussed the possibilty of giving discounts to businesses in East Grinstead if they made their staff toilets available to customers.
Clearly the council believed this to be a brilliant idea as they've now extended it across the whole of the district. It's the 'Community Toilet Scheme'
The council think that in these 'Tough Economic Times' if a shop in Burgess Hil Town Centre lets customers use their toilet facilities, it could lead to more sales.
For example, pop into Burgess Appliances to use their toilet and pick up a washing machine on your way out. Do they think that's really going to happen? Really?
Why would the council want to use rate payers money to encourage shops to make their toilets available for public use when the people of Burgess Hill are very much well provided for already? Public toilets next to the library, the fine facilities in the MarketPlace Shopping centre. The council are even going to offer cafes a financial insentive to make their existing customer toilets available for public use!
Surely shoppers in town would feel a little awkward about going into a local business, using the toilet and NOT buying anything in return? As above though, why would shoppers need to when there are plenty of public toilets available anyway. Arrrrrrrgh!
Our council tax could be put to better use when the funds at MSDC are being severly cut by central government.
Is there any willingness from shops in Burgess Hill to want to take part? Will the efforts required even be worth the saving on their business rates? Owners would have to ensure their toilets are always kept clean. The need to keep a very close eye on who is coming and going out the back. It could pose a rather big risk to the staff and their stockrooms! Who knows what sort of weirdos would love to take advantage of going 'behind the scenes' in our local shops.
Unsurprisingly its our favourite councillor Pru Moore quoted in the council's press release.....
“The scheme has the potential to benefit both the public and the local businesses taking part. Local shops are able to increase the number of people visiting their premises, giving them the potential to increase revenue and the public will have a greater choice and standard of toilet facilities.”
Thanks for that Pru. What will you come up with next? Shutting down another leisure facility perhaps that doesn't affect you.