Enfield residents are furious today as they are set to be hit with unjust charges as plans to make people pay to use all public toilets in the borough were discovered yesterday through a freedom of information request.
Enfield Council's Civic Centre where the FOI request was filed.
Under the plans, proposed by Enfield council, coin-operated turnstiles and enforcers will be installed at all public toilets, with a charge of up to £1.50p for each use.
However, angry residents are calling on councillors to reconsider the plans.
A spokesman for the council, Mr Fipp said: “We will be introducing coin-operated turnstiles and enforcement operatives at all public toilets in Enfield. The regular facilities will cost £1.20p to enter. There will be an increased charge of £1.50 for the use of the accessible toilets as the turnstiles are larger.”
One of the borough's toilets likely to be affected by the fees.
It is the Council's concerns over climate change and water shortage are being blamed for the charges. Water passed in the borough will be recycled from the toilets and processed to supply drinking water in the borough for children in all primary schools.
The enforcement of charges would be implemented by local water management company, the UGC.
Mr Cladwell of the UGC
Mr Cladwell of the UGC added: “These charges will help maintain the water levels in the borough. Thus taking important steps to ensure that the effects of water shortage and climate change are being addressed early.”
No date has been announced for the introduction of the turnstiles and enforcement operatives.
A number of residents have called on the council to rethink the proposals with some labelling the plans as ‘disgraceful’.
Commenting on Facebook, Sally Little, said: “I don’t have any spare money and now I will be charged for the most basic human need? It’s a disgrace to pay for the privilege to pee. Where will this end?”
Bobby Strong said: “This is crazy. The people will not stand for this. Rise up! People are free, this fee will enslave us. We’ll be suffering lives of sorrow. Think of the people today!”
Mr Strong’s mother Josephine also joined the criticism adding: “Enfield will be a laughing stock; we’ll be known as Urinetown!”
Some of the protesters gathered outside the UGC water treatment facilities after the announcement.
In direct response to the online criticism the UGC’s Mr Cladwell added;
“Our resources are as fragile as a new-born baby's skull, some people’s actions are so short-sighted, so insensitive, so dull. Think of tomorrow, Mr Strong”.
In an alarming development, Mr Fipp of the council did not rule out price increases or extending the scheme further, to include people’s homes:
“It is possible this could be extended to all people passing water at all times, in public venues, in pubs, outdoors and even at home. Water is a valuable resource that cannot simply be flushed away. We must think of tomorrow, our environment is what matters most and water shortage is a real threat.”
The Campaign group set up a website to help their cause.
A protest group, Stand against Making us Pay (SMP)
has formed against the plans and a social media campaign launched with the hashtag #SMPUrinetown. A meeting to discuss the fees is scheduled to start at the Millfield Theatre on the 15th
June 2016 at 7.45pm. Details about the meeting can be found at www.millfieldtheatre.co.uk