Public Toilets for Sale


Yes, public toilets for sale! Strange as it may seem, it has gone beyond selling minutes of public toilet use to the sale of the facility itself. It is called ‘public toilet wholesaling’, I think.  The UK has become so money focused that that the very basic essentials of commons have been monetised—monetised in such a way that has gone beyond just maintaining the commons to profit-making.

Capitalist politicians are becoming so obsessed with money-making that enclosing and privatising commons is like any normal business of the day for them. Public toilets are meant to ease the public’s nature’s stress, when away from home. Residents pay taxes so that these facilities could be made available within the shortest proximity possible and, ‘common-sensically’  [don’t look for it in a dictionary] not even to be paid for at such a high cost for every use. The amount is beyond cost-recovery. If a penniless diarrhoea commuter happens to be called upon to answer nature’s call at a train station, that commuter may have to do it in the pants, as pennilessness is not accepted in these capitalist days of ours. Toilets for Sale?

The UK may have modelled their public toilet sales strategy on their capitalist Big Brother, the almighty US, the latter always being No 1 for all the good and bad reasons. But is copycatting itself not a shameful act? There is no need for Mr Colonial Master to copycat a group of powerful people that are yet identify a unique identity of theirs. What a mixture! Human globalisation?

One would hardly be surprised if one walks by Peckham someday and there is an advert: streets for sale. Because after enclosing and privatising all the available spaces and commons, they will be left with no option but to sell the streets on which we walk. With the financial crisis looming over Europe and the US, it will be no shocker if The Economist writes some day that the UK government now charges pedestrians for walking on the streets wearing caterpillar boots!


4 Responses to “Public Toilets for Sale”

  1. sebries Says:

    Looking at the toilet problem from your point of view it seems crazy. However I think this is more a real estate issue than a “get rid of the commons” problem. Obviously you are right saying that they try to maximize their profit (as does everyone for that matter) but here they want to sell these public toilets so that local citizens can make use of it as they want. Looking at the pictures I don’t think that any traveler wants to use them, so why not make them a private good and you can have your urination next to a tree how nature intended it 😉 .
    This also shows that this country is getting poorer and that real estate is not going well. This toilet incident on the Isle of Wight is next to Southampton where I know from my experience that landlords are struggling to rent their houses. The prices are rising but people are getting poorer so the logical consequence is that no one can buy but rent. But now even the rents are too high for most people. What is happening now in Southampton is that landlords rebuilt the 4 bedroom houses into 7 or 8 bedroom houses using the same space. Now they get higher rent but it is cheaper for the private renter.

  2. richardlevell Says:

    I remember not so long a go a lot of news stories on the local news broadcasts discussing how local councils were struggling to run ammeneties such as public toilets. The amount of money that local councils have to spend on public conveniences has been significantly reduced over the past few years. I have been involved in a number of campaigns against local councils asking that they do not cut the budgets on local homelessness and substance misuse services but the fact of the matter is that they do not have the money there to spend.

    Example of local council that cant afford toilets

    Example of homelessness cuts

    Since my involvement in the ten day protest in Aberdeen against the council cuts to homelessness services I have worked within local councils and have gained a greater understanding of the difficulties involved in managing budgets for public services.

    I would certainly rather pay 20p to use the toilet than loose services that support the vulnerable in the local area.

    I guess the question in terms of commons is what local services are a public entitlement and what are a luxurious priviledge. This arguement comes down to how much choice we have over how our taxes are spent. I know my priorities for tax spending would focus on homeless services and public toilets over money for arms in warfare and bailing banks out of their crisis but I guess everyone is different and unless we are prepared to stand up and make it publicly known that we are disatisfied where our money is being spent we have no justification for complaint.

  3. becksie2 Says:

    I think both points here relating to housing and homelessness are interesting. My specialised field of work, over the last 7 years, has been in homelessness prevention by making use of the private rented sector. However, as welfare reform ( is introduced and as the comment above states, rental prices increase I have to start to question the viability and sustainability of the private rented sector as a housing option.

    The rise of the private rented sector over the last 20 years is connected to the selling off (Right to Buy) and deline of social housing provision has meant that more and more local councils have developed initiatives to make use of the sector. However, at what cost has this been? Private rentals are traditionally higher than social ones and with the increasing number of people on housing benefit living in the private rented sector the budget for housing benefit has spiralled upwards. This can been seen as capitalism in action for a social problem. Should we all not have an equal right to land to build or have somewhere safe a secure to live? Should the cost of this not proportionate to our need and not demand? I think the future is interesting for this policy debate as the housing market has slowed and investment mortgages have dwindled dramatically. Not to mention the conflicting policies of using the private rented sector as a realistic housing option and managing the welfare budget by cutting benefits through reform.

  4. ngoziokei Says:

    Should toilet be sold at all? Also should we pay for the use of our public toilet. Everybody will definitly answer the call of nature, at different times, and different places.I think it is nor right at all. The government should think of a better way to get money for the development of the society, and not getting money from the public toilet or trying to cut down the number of public toilets that we have in the community, due to government reason of no finances to maintain our public toilet. This is not proper for a good stardard of living.

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