Some public toilets in Exmouth, Sidmouth, Honiton, Budleigh Salterton, Seaton, Axminster and Beer to reopen ‘by May 22’

Ten out of East Devon’s 26 public toilets will reopen by Friday, May 22, district council chiefs have announced. 

Loos in Exmouth, Sidmouth, Honiton, Budleigh Salterton, Seaton, Axminster and Beer are among those that will be made accessible again.

The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a relaxation of lockdown rules meaning people can spend more time outdoors and travel for exercise and recreation.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) says new guidance from the Government requires an enhanced cleaning regime.

A spokesperson added: “The council feels it should take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of viral transmission whilst enabling the public to observe social distancing rules when using its facilities.

“After a comprehensive review including site specific risk assessments, it has been agreed the council will open 10 of the 26 toilets.

“The remaining toilets can’t be reopened at this time due to resource, building design and budget limitations.

“Subject to the completion of a risk assessment being carried out for each toilet and the sourcing of additional hand sanitisers, it is hoped the 10 accessible public toilets will reopen by Friday 22 May.

“This timescale is subject to the delivery of the hand sanitisers.”

EDDC says the reopened toilets  will be fully cleaned three times a day – an increase from the norm of once.

East Devon public toilets which will reopen from 7.30am to 4pm are: 

  • West Street Car Park, Axminster;
  • East End (Lime Kiln), Budleigh Salterton;
  • Jubilee Gardens, Beer;
  • Foxholes Car Park, Exmouth;
  •   Manor Gardens, Exmouth;
  • Queen’s Drive/Old Lifeboat, Exmouth;
  •  King Street, Honiton;
  • West Walk, Seaton;
  • Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth;
  • Triangle, Sidmouth. 

Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC portfolio holder for environment, said: “Longer-term solutions involving alterations to buildings to allow easy access, minimise touch points and provide a more Covid-19 secure environment are being investigated which hopefully can include longer opening hours.

“We are pleased to be able to reopen some toilets. We recognise the limited number may be inconvenient for some, but we feel it is important to take steps to reduce risks and improve hygiene, which means we cannot open more at this time.

“Our StreetScene staff will be working hard to get these toilets open for the bank holiday weekend and we thank members of the public for their patience whilst we prepare them for reopening.

“We cannot assure people that the facilities will pose no risk of infection, so I would urge members of the public to remain vigilant, and rigorously adhere to hand washing, hygiene and social distancing rules.”

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