Changes to public toilet provision in Camden

Closed 28 Feb 2016

Opened 11 Jan 2016


Why are we making changes to public toilets in Camden?

By 2017, the Council’s funding from central government will have been cut in half.

We are making tough decisions about how we deliver council services as we find savings of £78 million. This includes changes to every department in the Council and less funding for services such as libraries, street cleaning, social care and community safety.

As part of these reductions, the Council has decided to reduce the money it spends on public toilets by £260,000, with the aim of developing a cost neutral approach for the Council.

We know how important toilet facilities are for Camden residents and visitors.

We know that being able to access public toilet facilities is important, but with less money, the Council is planning to make changes to the way they are provided.

The proposed changes would mean that three public toilets that are used less frequently than others and are less economical to run would close. These are at Pond Square, South End Green and West End Lane. Two others – at Camden Town and Lincoln’s Inn Fields – would become ‘pay to use’ toilets that other organisations would run.

To make sure public toilets are still available in the borough, we would work with other local businesses to develop community toilet schemes. This would mean that local shops and cafes participating in the scheme would make their toilets available to the public.

We will pay a contribution of up to £750 a year to local businesses that are part of the scheme.

We will also be making changes to automatic public conveniences (APCs).

We are inviting ideas which the Council can explore if it would avoid toilet closures.

We are keen to hear from business or community groups interested in being part of the community toilet scheme or taking on the running of a site currently marked for closure.

Tell us what you think and how the changes would affect you

We would like to hear your views about the proposed changes we are making to public toilets and understand how they would affect you. We will use your feedback to help us to make sure that toilets are available for public use across the borough.

We will investigate any proposals that would come at no cost to the Council.

You can give your views from Monday 11 January to Sunday 28 February 2016.

There are different ways that you can share your views. You can:

Complete our online questions

Answer the questions in the attached document and post the response free of charge to:

Public Toilets, Floor 5, 5PS
London Borough of Camden
Town Hall, London, WC1H 9JE

Ask for an easy-read or large print version of the attached document, or a version translated into another language by emailing or call us on 020 7974 4444 and choose the environmental services option

Come along to one of our public meetings:

6 to 8pm on Wednesday 27 January 2016 at West Hampstead Library, Dennington Park Road, NW6 1AU about the West End Lane toilets

6 to 8pm on Tuesday 9 February 2016 at the Roy Shaw Centre, Cressy Road, NW3 2ND about the South End Green toilets

6 to 8pm on Thursday 11 February 2016 at the Highgate Society, 10A South Grove, N6 6BS about the Pond Square toilets

• 2 to 4pm on Wednesday 24 February 2016, in conjunction with Ageing Better Camden/Age UK Camden, at the Council Chamber, Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, WC1H 9JE.

These meetings will also include discussions in small groups on our proposals and your ideas for alternative approaches to achieve a £260,000 saving in this area. 

Public toilets in Camden – what have we got at the moment?

The Council currently has five sets of free public toilets with attendants. These are in:

Pond Square N6 6BA in Highgate ward

West End Lane NW6 1RR in Fortune Green ward

Lincoln’s Inn Fields WC2A 3TL in Holborn and Covent Garden ward

South End Green NW3 2PT in Gospel Oak ward

Camden Town NW1 7HD in Camden Town with Primrose Hill ward

Current opening hours are 9am until 6pm during winter months and 9am until 8pm during summer months.

Toilet facilities are also provided in some of our council buildings, like libraries and sports centres. There is a map attached, showing these.

There is a table attached showing the approximated cost and usage of public toilets in Camden.

Automatic public conveniences (APCs)

An automated public convenience is a self-contained public toilet that the public pays to use.

Camden Council has two contracts that provide six automatic public conveniences (APCs), which end in August 2016 – April 2017. Camden Council pays an annual hire charge for three units, which have a contract up to August 2016 and three more units are provided through Camden’s current outdoor advertising contract, which ends on 31 March 2017.

The units are provided at:

High Holborn WC1V 7DA (April 2017)

Leather Lane EC1R 5AR (August 2016)

Russell Square WC1B 5EQ (August 2016)

Queen’s Crescent NW5 4ED (April 2017)

West End Lane NW6 1RR (April 2017)

Leather Lane EC1R 5AR (August 2016)

There is a table attached showing the approximate cost and usage automatic public toilets in Camden.

What would the proposals mean?

Three public toilets in West End Lane, South End Green and Pond Square would close.

>> The Council needs to move to a cost-neutral model for public toilet provision

>> These sites are within high street areas where a Community Toilet scheme is proposed

>> These sites are less economical to run as pay-to-use toilets

Toilets in Camden Town and Lincoln’s Inn Fields would become pay to use toilets, which would be run by a provider rather than the Council.

>> The Council needs to move to a cost-neutral model for public toilet provision

>> These sites are economical to run as pay-to-use toilets

The Council would promote and signpost residents and visitors to interactive maps to enable them to find publicly available toilets in Camden.



>> (for Changing Places toilets)

The Council would expand the existing pilot community toilet scheme that was set up in Kentish Town. This would mean that we would work with local shops, cafes and other businesses in and around West End Lane, South End Green and Pond Square to make sure that public toilets were still available.

Other areas for community toilet schemes will be considered.

>> Expanding the Camden community toilet scheme would give residents and visitors to Camden access to toilet facilities in businesses in the scheme during the businesses’ normal opening hours, free of charge and without having to buy anything.

Temporary and pop-up toilets would be used in areas in Camden which are busy at night and where there are issues with public urination. 



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