Public toilets in pipeline for city centre after 20-year absence
Dublin City Council sets aside €200,000 for two WCs out of €970m budget
The €200,000, which was proposed by Sinn Féin, Labour, the Greens, and the Independent group, will fund one toilet each on the northside and southside of the city
A budget of almost €970 million has been approved by Dublin city councillors for next year, the largest pot of funding ever set for the annual running of the capital.
The budget includes funding of €200,000 for two public toilets, which would be the first toilet facilities provided in the city centre for more than 20 years.
The city’s nine staffed facilities were closed by Dublin City Council in the mid-1990s on Garda advice because of increasing anti-social problems, including drug abuse, prostitution and vandalism. Unmanned automatic public conveniences were subsequently installed at Burgh Quay, but these were also closed for similar reasons.
In 2006, the council said it would examine the possibility of reopening the College Street facilities, following pressure from councillors. The following year a plan was devised to refurbish the toilets and install CCTV cameras at a cost of €800,000, but it never came to fruition.
Public toilets were to have been provided by advertising company JC Decaux as part of the deal for the Dublin bike-rental scheme. However, this clause was removed from the final contract.
There are no permanent public toilets in the city, although the council has previously provided portable toilets for men only at the weekend in an attempt to cut down on street urination. It has not, however, provided similar facilities for women as, the council said, it has not experienced problems with women urinating on the city streets.
The €200,000, which was proposed by Sinn Féin, Labour, the Greens, and the Independent group, will fund one toilet each on the northside and southside of the city. The location of the toilets has yet to be determined.
Dublin city budgets fell from a high of €928 million in 2009 to €773 million in 2015. Budgets have since increased and will, for the first time next year, surpass the 2009 budget with €969.6 million to be spent in the city.
Part of the increased revenue is due to come from a 10 per cent rise in on-street parking charges in high-demand areas of the city, the first parking charge increases since 2008.
Charges in the city centre “yellow zone” will rise from €2.90 to €3.60, while just outside this area the “red zone” charge will go from €2.40 to €2.60. The change is due to come into effect next July.
In addition, the cost of parking enforcement is expected to rise by €1.2 million owing to “greater requirements”, council chief executive Owen Keegan Keegan said, set out by the council in its upcoming clamping contract.
Businesses will see an increase in commercial rates of 1.1 per cent next year to provide additional funding of €3.8 million to the council.
Councillors had been advised by Mr Keegan to double bin collection charges for tenants in council flats from €2 to €4 per week. However councillors set the charge at €3.
More than 15 per cent of the council’s budget, almost €150 million, will be spent on homeless services . The fund covers the provision of emergency accommodation but not permanent housing. Latest figures from the Department of Housing put homeless numbers at 9,698, some 68 per cent of whom are in Dublin.