Christchurch Council has agreed for a local community group to help manage the public toilets in the sports pavilion at Waterman’s Park in Somerford on a trial basis.
The Friends and Residents of Grange Ward (FROGS) will open and clean the toilets over a six month period following community requests to make the toilets at the popular park more frequently available for public use. The sports pavilion is owned and managed by the council and community feedback about the toilets has been passed to the council by FROGS and another community group, Friends of Waterman’s Park.
The toilets are currently only opened when a football match is taking place but from 1 June the opening hours will be increased through a phased approach. Initially, the toilets will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am until dusk or 8pm, whichever is earlier. From 1 July, the toilets will also open on weekdays from 3pm until dusk or 6pm, whichever is earlier. Then, throughout the school summer holidays, the toilets will be open daily from 10am until dusk or 8pm, whichever is earlier. After the school summer holidays, opening hours will revert to weekend and after school opening hours during term time and daily opening during October half term.
It will be at FROGS’ discretion whether to open the toilets as planned each day based on weather conditions and the resulting likely public use of Waterman’s Park.
As well as improving the availability of facilities for park users the initiative also serves one of the corporate aims within the Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership’s joint Corporate Plan: to ‘provide communities with opportunities to take greater involvement in running public services’. At the end of the six month trial period the council will review the success of the initiative with FROGS.