Children on school trips in Scarborough and Whitby will now be able to use council-run toilets for free following a climbdown from the borough’s authority.
Earlier this year, the council came in for criticism after it was revealed that a party of more than 40 children from two local primary schools had not been allowed to use the toilets in North Bay as the teachers did not have the necessary 40p charge for each child.
Following the intervention of Labour councillor Neil Price at a previous Full Council meeting Scarborough Council has now revealed that school parties will be given a daily code when new, smart access panels are fitted on the borough’s toilets that will let them in without having to cough up.
However, the concession will only apply to schools from within the borough with cabinet member Cllr Martin Smith (Con) telling Monday’s full council meeting that he will not consider extending the free use of toilets to all schools.
Cllr Smith, the cabinet member for Leisure, said: “I can assure [the council] that local school children can access the toilets, they will be given a code, which will change every day, which they tap in and away they go.
“In the meantime [until the new access is fitted] they just need to let the attendant know and they will let them in free of charge.”
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Cllr Neil Price said he welcomed the change in policy.
He said: “For the council to have a change of policy is a result for us and the schools and I’m delighted the council has conceded it needs to change the way its charges for children.
“I think it’s right that local children have the right to use them for free. It could be looked at again if we start getting complaints from schools from further away but, I think, at the moment it’s a local issue.”