Bristol City Council agreed to cut public toilets and replace them with a Community Toilet Scheme at a Cabinet meeting at City Hall last night ( 4 December).
Opposition councillors fear the planned closure of 18 public toilets on streets and some parks across the city to save £400,000 will affect the elderly, children and those with mobility issues.
But Labour cabinet members say cutting these facilities and replacing them with the new Community Toilet Scheme will improve provision.
Businesses and charities will be recruited to allow the public use of their restrooms free of charge.
A scheme already exists in South Bristol – the Greater Bedminster Toilet Network was set up by the area’s Older People’s Forum three years ago.
It was introduced to help elderly people who might want to go to the toilet when out in the area
The current map shows 22 places, including cafes and pubs and where people can use the facilities without having to buy anything – you can see the map here.
Cllr Asher Craig said the current toilets “were not fit for purpose”.
She said: “The aim is that by the time toilets close, there will be a working network in place.”
Addressing fears that about homeless people would be less well provided for , Cllr Craig said the council is looking for solutions in partnership with St Mungos. This could mean working with or having a dedicated site.
The council also agreed cuts to lollipop patrols and Supported People funding amid protests from the public gallery.