Further to your recent article on the refurbishment of the Toilets in George Lane and my reaction to the cancelling of the specified composite floor and the single alternative tile that the contractor has put forward for these toilets I would like to clarify my position on the matter.
The Town Council unanimously voted to refurbish part of the toilet block in George Lane. For clarification approximately only one third of the building will be converted with just three uni-sex pay cubicles for public use, each cubicle opening outwards onto the car park. The rest of the building which currently has ladies and gentleman’s departments that have been in place for years will be left empty at this time. As uni-sex toilets they will not include men’s urinals which I feel is a mistake.
For this venture the Town Council is borrowing more than £90,000.00 (ninety thousand pounds) which many would believe to be a very hefty sum for a simple refurbishment of three toilet cubicles. The original specification was put together with cleanliness and hygiene in mind so included composite flooring.
Composite flooring is an extremely solid, smooth and durable compound used in most hospitals or institutions where cleanliness is of paramount importance. There are no joints or seams to harbour grime or germs it also has the added advantage of being able to be extended up the walls for six inches or so sealing the joint between floor and wall this prevents noxious substances gathering there which is very important in public toilets. It is also extremely hard wearing and easy to maintain and clean.
The contractor has said that as he has to dig up the floor of these toilet cubicles he will have to make an extra charge for the composite floor even though the composite floor was in the original specification. He then put forward just one very unsuitable and inferior tile in my opinion.
The floor tile put forward has a rough and uneven texture which with multiple public use will collect dirt and other unpleasant matter in its undulating surface, not to be recommended for a public toilet one would think. It also has to be grouted which again is notorious for holding fluids and eventually breaking down it will of course have no solid floor to wall seal. It will make cleaning with the usual apparatus very difficult.
At the last council committee meeting I felt that as the Council was spending and indeed borrowing so much money in the publics name to convert just three cubicles into toilets, that the Town deserved to have the very best quality and the most hygienic product on offer. I stated at the meeting that believe that this would be achieved with composite flooring and not the single inferior alternative put forward by the contractor at that meeting. I also would like to have it noted that it is not intended for these toilets to be free the public will have to pay 20p for each visit.
I still feel the same and stand by my opinion, however as I also said at the meeting one can only wait and see the on going maintenance charges and cleaning problems which will be the result of fitting unsuitable and inferior flooring.