Work on replacing public toilets in Leighton’s flagship Parson’s Close Recreation Ground began this week.
And the £170,000 investment certainly won’t be money down the pan as Leighton-Linslade Town Council has promised that the ageing block will be transformed into state-of-the-art facilities.
The work is scheduled to take 16 weeks and Ian Haynes, head of grounds and environmental services, said: “Our facilities within Parson’s Close Recreation Ground are going to be completely gutted and now have state-of-the-art fixtures and fittings in them.
“There will be re-wiring and re-plumbing throughout, we will be installing modern state-of-the-art facilities including an all-in-one washing and drying facility and five unisex toilets that will be individually accessed externally, a dedicated disabled WC, baby change facility together with welfare, first aid, event information space and enhanced storage provision.”
Mr Haynes added: “The existing toilet block along with pump room from which the splash ‘n’ play is controlled has been in place for over 40 years and after a recent condition survey heighted a number of major structural defects.
“Due to the location of the pump room within the centre of the current structure the modernisation of our facility has worked around this to create new toilets together with welfare, first aid, event information space and enhanced storage provision.
“The creation of individual self-contain toilets make the best use of the space and will meet the needs of the park and its users.”
The idea of unisex toilets may take some getting used to judgingby numerous comments posted on social media in recent days.
One poster said: “I am very pleased to learn of the improvements to the current toilets, however I think unisex toilets would be a complete disaster.”
Another added: “Unisex toilets is definitely a bad idea! Lots of children use these toilets and should feel safe in doing so! And do women want to use the same toilets as men? I think not! You need to re think the plans or you will be wasting £170,000! Because they won’t get used!”
But Mr Haynes added: “The benefits of unisex toilets offer a genuine cost savings from building two separate facilities one for females and one for males users. Mothers can take their little boys into the toilet. Likewise, fathers can also take their little girls.
“Child safety is also important as parent(s), grandparents, carers and guardians are with them in the bathroom. Combining facilities also eliminates gender discrimination.
“Once completed the new facilities will be a great addition to our much loved town centre park.”
What do you think of the revamp? Is unisex a good idea? Email firstname.lastname@example.org