Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Westminster charges to spend a penny

May 21 2009
By the end of 2008, 11 West End public facilities will be charging patrons 20p... The possibility of entry charges on public facilities is an ongoing concern for The Pavement's readers. And although there has long been speculation that the toilets outside Victoria Embankment gardens will be charging those wishing to spend a penny, they are actually among the few loos not being penalised under Westminster City Council's new West End charging scheme. By the end of 2008, 11 West End public facilities will be charging patrons 20p. The locations of these toilets are Paddington Street, Pimlico Road, Queensway, Salisbury Street, Tachbrook Street, Wellington Place, Barrett Street, Bayswater Road, Great Portland Street, Kensington Road and The Strand. There is no fixed date for this charge to be introduced. Rosemary Westbrook, director of housing at Westminster City Council, confirmed that charges were being introduced and urged rough sleepers, who often rely on free public facilities to perform their daily ablutions, to make use of the day centres in the district. "Westminster Council encourages rough sleepers to take advantage of our three dedicated day centres which can provide them with toilets and hot showers, laundry facilities, hot meals and a range of specialist help for mental health, substance misuse and employment issues," she said, indicating that The Passage, the Connection at St Martins and West London Day Centre could add ‚Äö?Ñ??toilets' to their list of services. Westminster City Council spends ¬¨¬£3 million a year maintaining its 52 council-run public toilets, the most toilets in any local authority in the country, and believe that people are happy to pay a little extra for clean, safe and staffed facilities.