We can all appreciate using clean and pleasant toilet facilities when we are out and about, whether we are shopping in town or visiting a restaurant or café.

Then there’s the uncertainty of having to use those ‘public toilets’ when you’re stuck for another alternative. We’re all fairly familiar with that feeling too!

With thanks to Ashford Borough Council and participating town centre businesses, we’re all to see improved and hygienic toilet facilities for the whole high street.

The Community Toilet Scheme sees local businesses working in partnership with the council to open up their toilet facilities to the public, free of charge. ABC have teamed up with town centre businesses including shops, cafes and restaurants to provide clean, safe and accessible toilets for Ashford shoppers, residents and visitors.

In exchange for opening their toilets for public use, businesses are paid a small annual fee. The amount granted depends on the level of facilities the business can offer. For example, those businesses that can provide multiple male and female toilets, baby changing facilities and wheelchair accessible toilets will receive a higher grant.

Visitors to the town centre will be able to identify participating businesses with a window sticker that will displayed in their shop front. The stickers will indicate the business is participating in the scheme and specify the type of facilities available.

The current public facilities in Vicarage Lane will close as the Community Toilet Scheme is introduced into the town. The New Rents toilets will remain open and will be included in the review of the new scheme in due course. Vandalism and antisocial behavior is a major concern in these public toilets, which results in unplanned closures and inconvenience to the public.

Ashford is following in the footsteps of dozens of local authorities nationwide who have already successfully introduced the scheme into their towns, offering the public access to a variety of pleasant, clean and safe facilities in the heart of the town.

Visitors will be able to find out which toilets in Ashford town centre are in the scheme via the council website in due course and via notices on existing public toilet buildings in the short term.

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