Norfolk councils defend position following government rules warning over use of tips and toilets
The government has warned councils against “excessive restrictions” on tips and public toilets in a bid to “support outdoor hospitality” and avoid harm to public health.
Warnings over risks from increasing fly-tipping and fears of people “relieving themselves in public” have sparked the directive.
The letter, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), was sent to councils on Sunday, June 28.
“There is evidence some councils have applied excessively tight restrictions on public access,” it stated.
Concerns highlighted included:
• A rise in fly-tipping
• Hygiene and hand washing
• Impact on outdoor workers, young people and those reliant on public toilets due to their health
• Equality implications
• Hot weather and the “push to support outdoor hospitality”
• And harm to public health and the environment from people relieving themselves outside
Councils have been urged to avoid limiting pre-booked slots, to keep measures under review and extend access where safe to do so.
It stated: “This is not to condone or tolerate irresponsible or illegal behaviour, but councils have a key role in helping prevent problems thanks to municipal services.”
A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: “Recycling centres started to reopen on May 11. With 90pc open we plan to have 100pc by the end of the week.”
No booking is needed and a full service is offered, but people are asked to avoid busy periods.
A West Norfolk council spokeswoman said the area’s public toilets were all now open, while Breckland council said toilets were managed by town councils.
North Norfolk District Council did not respond to a request for comment.