Mercury loo survey: We reveal the lavs flushed with success - and those that are bog standard

Lovely lavs: Gorleston beach toilet block

Lovely lavs: Gorleston beach toilet block - Credit: Archant

As the first summer season with fewer toilet attendants approaches, the Great Yarmouth Mercury has inspected the state of the borough’s public loos.

Top of the toilet blocks: Britannia Pier loos

Top of the toilet blocks: Britannia Pier loos - Credit: Archant

A tour of 11 toilet blocks revealed their condition after five attendants opted for voluntary severance, three were retained in the mobile cleaning service and one is awaiting possible re-deployment.

The changes stemmed from a need to make £81,000 savings from the £601,000 annual toilet budget, but council bosses say it will provide an “enhanced” service through longer opening hours.

In keeping with Mercury tradition, conveniences were graded out of five for general cleanliness, toilet roll provision, and washing facilities.

And once scores for male and female facilities were combined, each toilet block was awarded a total mark out of 30.

We can reveal that the honour of best loos in the borough was tied between Gorleston beach and Britannia Pier, both with an impressive 29 out of 30.

Both were spotless with ample toilet paper, though the baby changing facilities appeared to be locked at Britannia Pier - with a mother changing her baby on the floor in the ladies’ loos.

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Fears have been voiced that standards will suffer in the busy summer months, with crowds of tourists and too few staff to ensure loos are spick and span.

And while only time will tell if mobile cleaning services are up to the job, last Friday’s Mercury survey has given an early indication of how they are faring.

The loos at Market Gates were pleasant but already busy, and a member of the public said they can be left in a terrible state by tourists.

Elsewhere in the borough, there was more to be desired.

The Caister Road toilets appeared dirty, with a banana skin and tobacco packets on the floor in the gents, and a foul smell and loo paper strewn around in the ladies.

Gorleston High Street loos stank of urine, with a discarded lager can in the gents urinal and grubby looking loo seats in the ladies.

The Ravine loos were also basic but had enough loo roll and soap, and there was a hook to hang coats from in the ladies.

Steel sinks appeared uninviting at Gorleston’s Quay Road toilets, and the bin in the ladies was overflowing with rubbish.

Back across Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth, the North Drive loos were in reasonable condition though the toilet bowls in the gents appeared dirty, the bin was full and there were cigarette butts on the floor in the ladies.

Both the Marina Centre and The Conge loos were kept in good condition, and seemed to be inspected regularly.

The loos near where the jetty used to stand were closed for refurbishment on the day of the survey, with scaffolding surrounding them.

No graffiti was spotted during the survey, and there appeared to be at least some soap and loo paper at all toilet blocks visited.

Last year, the winner of the Mercury’s annual toilet survey was Gorleston beach.

All facilities inspected fall under responsibility of the borough council.