The elderly, disabled and young children may be impacted as the council is set to close toilets across the city as part of budget cuts.
In their budget consultation, Cardiff Council has proposed to close all public toilets across the city to make a saving of roughly £83,000. It is facing tough decisions as it needs to make savings of £124 million in the next three years.
The automated toilets across the city were so rarely used that, instead of spending a penny, they were costing £16 per use in 2013, according to council budget documents.
Cardiff Council have set in place a Community Toilets scheme, giving grants to local businesses of up to £1,000 in exchange for their allowing the public to use their facilities.
The council website says: “The objective is to improve the provision of safe, hygienic and accessible toilet facilities around the city. Participating premises will undertake to keep their toilets safe, clean, hygienic, easily accessible and well stocked. In return, they shall receive a grant towards any costs incurred by offering their facilities to the general public.”
A list of 16 restaurants and cafes across Cardiff are currently part of the Community Toilets scheme, but many areas of the city are not covered. The scheme is not well known, and a number of the businesses enlisted, such as the Blackweir Tavern on North Road, The Fox & Hound in St Mellons, and The Old Arcade, Church Street, are not displaying signs stating they are for community use- which is a part of the scheme’s requirements.
Leo Thompson, a barman at 33 Windsor Place, said: “We don’t really see a lot of people from it. We have a window sticker and some people do come in but theres not much demand or people probably don’t know about it. In pubs I have worked in people have used it a lot.
“I think because we’re out of the way, and a nicer looking pub, people don’t know or don’t feel comfortable coming in.”
In reaching their decision on which services could face budget cuts Cardiff Council conducted a survey of public opinion from November to January of this year.
3,736 Cardiff residents responded to the survey, which showed 17.2 per cent of people disagreed, raising concerns about this having a damaging impact on many of the most vulnerable members of society, the elderly, ill or disabled people, as well as young children.