Toilets petition

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See also
the petition for signature in Rye Lane in 2013
signatures on the petition, presented by the deputation
residents and traders swap stories of queues to sign the petition in Rye Lane

Introduction

Peckham is a major shopping centre in Southwark, thronging with shoppers and visitors. The lack of public toilets creates serious problems. Local residents have for many years campaigned for public toilets. Local residents and traders presented a petition with over 4000 signatures to the Council in September 2013. The petition asked that the provision of public toilets should be part of the redesign of the area in front of Peckham Rye station, in addition to the toilets to be installed on each of the 4 platforms inside the station, because they will be accessible only to rail travellers and the holders of freedom passes. This was included in the brief for the Peckham CoDesign process between August and October 2014. Planning permission was granted in 2016 on the Council's own planning application for the station square works, including an arch reserved for the public toilets. These works are scheduled to start in 2024 to be completed in 2026. We need public discussion now about the design and management of the new public toilets.

Latest News 2024

February 2024 Public toilets disappearing

Independent February 14, 2024 “I was too anxious to leave my house – because Britain’s public toilets have disappeared” Local authorities and government should recognise that public-accessible toilets are a fundamental pillar of public health, say the British Toilet Association

January 2024 Meeting Cabinet Member Cllr Akoto

Loos-for-Southwark met with Cllr Evelyn Akoto, Cabinet Member for Public Health, and the council officer who is head of the Council Local Economy Unit, on 18th January to follow up the deputation to Cabinet in December. Eileen Conn and Corinne Turner from Peckham Vision were there and all together those of us there were from Rotherhithe, Camberwell, Bermondsey, Peckham and Dulwich. There was a useful and positive discussion about the need to increase provision of both public toilets (Council) and community toilets (in business and other premises), and to engage local people in helping to survey need and provision in their local areas. It was agreed there needed to be a strategic approach to the issues raised and to meet again once the agreed actions had been taken.

Latest News 2023

December 2023 Cabinet deputation

Deputation outside Council offices before the Cabinet meeting

Peckham Vision was part of the deputation to the Council’s Cabinet on 5th December. The Cabinet agreed that Cllr Evelyn Okato the Cabinet Member for public health would meet with us in early 2024 to discuss the development of a public toilets strategy to bring all the work of the Council together in one action plan. Southwark News report on Loos for Southwark campaign

November 2023 Council’s Health and Care Commission

Loos for Southwark gave evidence on 15 November to the Council’s Health and Care Commission about the need for a strategy for public toilets in Southwark. Eileen Conn from Peckham Vision contributed by giving evidence of the lack of public toilets in Peckham town centre and the longstanding local campaign for public toilets in the redevelopment of the front of Peckham Rye station. A community toilets scheme involving all businesses with suitable facilities would be very welcome as well.

Peckham Vision points for the Loos for Southwark campaign at the Scrutiny Committee meeting

  • In Peckham local people strongly support the campaign for public loos because of the public health issues both for the people excluded from going out and also the public health hazard created through lack of loos.
  • The strategy must provide for good processes to involve local people to discuss the local need, and the details of how to provide for loos, taking into account the guidance now available on good practise.
  • Our views are based especially on the damaging effects of the lack of public toilets in Peckham town centre.
  • The strategy must include public toilets in commercial centres like Peckham alongside a strong and wide community toilets scheme, because the leisure and entertainment destination brings many visitors beyond the usual retail hours.
  • The lack of public toilets means that people with health issues or with small children are excluded from visiting the town centre.
  • It also results in fouling in the street creating a public health hazard.
  • After a long community campaign from 2013, planning permission was granted in 2016 for new public toilets in the redevelopment of the front of Peckham Rye station.
  • This is scheduled to be implemented in 2024-25, but the Council has not given any information about the design and management of the new facilities.
  • The design and management of the facilities to be produced in the new Peckham Rye station square need to be discussed with local people in the neighbourhood as soon as possible before decisions are made.
LOOS FOR SOUTHWARK LOGO .jpg

July 2023 Loos for Southwark

Peckham Vision has joined the campaign for a strategy for public toilets in Southwark. This is being supported by Age UK London as part of their Loos for London campaign.

April 2023 No change in plans

In response to a FOI request for papers on the decision to overturn the inclusion of public toilets in the plans, the Council has said that there are no papers as there has not been such a decision. The focus now has to be on the scope and design of the facilities to be provided and how they will be operated, maintained and managed.

January 2023 plans dropped?

The work in phase 1 in Blenheim Grove should be completed soon. Phases 2 & 3 on the new square will begin when Phase 1 is complete. Details are on Council's website. The work to provide public toilets was scheduled for Phase 3 of the works starting this year. Recent questions, in August 2022, to the Council by Peckham Vision about the plans for the new public toilets - design and operation, and the timing of public consultation on them, elicited, only after a long delay, that public toilets will be provided in the redevelopment of the Aylesham site. See the last paragraph in the FAQs here. This appears to mean that the Council agreement for public toilets at the station, and the subsequent granting of planning permission, has been overturned by the Council without any public information or discussion. Further information is being sought about this decision.

The Aylesham redevelopment plans are at very early stages of consultation. See more information on the issues already being raised by the plans. Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/StandupForPeckham . Clearly that proposed plan has a long way to go before planning permission can even be applied for. Berkeley Group, the developers who own the site, have said that the whole development could take many years to be completed. Even if implemented, those public toilets will be little use in central Rye Lane before and after retail shopping hours in a location at least 10 minutes walk away from central Rye Lane, which is where the greatest need was expressed. There has been no information released to the public about this change of plan on an urgent public health issue.

Progress

May 2021 work in progress

The work to recreate the square in front of the station is likely to start in 2021. The extension upwards by two floors on the corner of Blenheim Grove and Rye Lane (against local opposition) is now under way. The next stages are the demolition of the Arcade in front of the station and the recreation of the square. The creation of the new public toilets under the arches adjacent to the station building is still in the plan for Phase 3, and completion in 2023. See here for the Council's latest information on the works overall. Meanwhile, Network Rail are now actively designing proposals to install lifts and new access stairs inside and at the back of the station for step free access to all platforms. New station toilets are also included in these plans. See here for the information about this accessibility project.

Success!

March 2016 Planning permission for public toilets at station

Planning permission was given for public toilets in the redevelopment of the area in front of the station at the Planning Committee in March 2016: officer's report and decision NOTE: date for completion planned as 2021.

Peckham CoDesign

Workshop Thursday 16 April 2015

Public toilets are firmly on the agenda now as an issue to be solved in the redesign of the area in front of the station.

Workshop Sat 20 September 2014

The new consultation about the Peckham Rye station development is underway until mid October 2014. On Saturday 20th September 10am - 1pm there will be a workshop on the provision of public toilets. The workshop is at the CoDesign Shop at the entrance to the station.

Community Council Deputation

Community Council decision 30 September 2013

The Community Council unanimously agreed with the deputation's request that officers should be asked to review with us the issues and report back to the Community Council on:

  • the need for public toilet facilities in Rye Lane,
  • the problems from the lack of public facilities,
  • the possible locations for new facilities, in relation to the station developments, and
  • the issues in terms of management and cost of each of them.

We look forward to meeting with Council officers as soon as possible to make our contribution to the review and initial report back to the Community Council at the next meeting.

4,273 signatures on the petition, presented by the deputation
Deputation explains need for public toilets
Community Council listens to the deputation
Residents and traders swap stories of queues to sign the petition in Rye Lane

The Deputation

local ward councillors who make up Peckham & Nunhead Community Council

Members of Peckham Vision, and the Rye Lane Traders' Association presented the petition to the Community Council on 30th September 2013. The petition had over 4,270 signatures, all of which had been gathered in or near the town centre. In handing over the petition, the deputation said:

"Thank you for agreeing to this deputation. We are from Peckham Vision and the Rye Lane Traders Association. We would like to introduce ourselves: a local resident who is co-ordinator of Peckham Vision, a local resident in Holly Grove who has a business in The Arches, Blenheim Grove; a local resident in Blenheim Grove who has a new business in the station forecourt; a market trader in Rye Lane who is a local resident; a trader in Rye Lane who co-ordinates the Rye Lane Traders' Association.

Peckham is a major shopping centre in Southwark thronging with shoppers and visitors. Unfortunately public urinating has now become a very unpleasant feature of our town centre, because of the lack of public toilets. Parents are teaching their children to urinate in public as there is no obviously available public facility. Local residents have for many years campaigned for public toilets. Now it is even more urgent as cultural life in central Rye Lane has taken off. There are many more pedestrians at all times, and it has extended the problems through the evening and into the night. There is only one public toilet in Peckham town centre - on Atwell Road. It is not pleasant to use. There are increasing problems day and night with urinating and worse in the shopping and residential streets as a result of the lack of decent public toilets.

Peckham Vision & Rye Lane Traders' deputation members

We need a solution to this. This is the right time to raise the issue when major work to improve the areas around Peckham Rye station is being designed. The deputation presents this petition for public toilets in Rye Lane. It has been signed by over 4200 people who use our town centre.

Central Rye Lane is due for a major reshaping to recreate the public square in front of the station and make major improvements in Network Rail’s land around it. The petition is asking the Council and Network Rail to take this opportunity to provide for public toilets in these developments. This is maybe a once in a lifetime chance to ensure that these changes include good quality public toilets that are well managed.

We would like the Council to look into the issues with us on:

  • the need for public toilet facilities in Rye Lane,
  • the problems from the lack of public facilities,
  • the possible locations for new facilities, and
  • the issues in terms of management and cost of each of them.

We would be willing to meet with officers asap to give them our information and ideas, to help get an early interim report on these matters. Tonight we are asking the Community Council for its support on this, and to ask the Council for a report back on the issues for the next Community Council meeting."

Notice of the meeting

The public toilets petition will be presented to the Community Council:
on MONDAY 30th SEPTEMBER 7pm
at Harris Academy Peckham, 112 Peckham Road, London SE15 5DZ

Please come, and give your support. The more we have the better. The deputation will be heard near 7pm.> See here for the meeting agenda

Petition for Public Toilets in Rye Lane, Peckham

image only

Peckham Vision & Rye Lane Traders' Association have jointly launched this petition:

"We petition Southwark Council and Network Rail to provide public toilets
as part of the work to improve the areas around historic Peckham Rye station.

Download printable petition here

PV + RLTA public toilets petition - Final.pdf

Petition available for signature

The petition was also available for signature at the market stall in front of the cinema opposite McDonalds on Rye Lane, and the others listed below. It could be downloaded from this page to collect signatures and returned to the RLTA 'Suggestion Box', at Khan's Bargain Ltd, 135 Rye Lane, as indicated on the petition.

Sign the petition at this market stall in Rye Lane
Look out for this market stall in Rye Lane to sign the petition
If you are collecting signatures, this is where to post them - into the suggestion box at Khan's Bargain Ltd, 135 Rye Lane.

SIGN THE PETITION AT ONE OF THESE PLACES, all supporting the campaign.

  • the market stall in front of the cinema opposite McDonalds on Rye Lane:
  • Petitou Café, 63, Choumert Road SE15 4AR
  • The Gowlett, 62, Gowlett Road SE15 4HY
  • Review bookshop, Bellenden Road, SE15
  • Bold Tendencies, Multi Storey Car Park
  • Khan's Bargain Ltd, 135 Rye Lane

Download and print petition here - PV + RLTA public toilets petition - Final.pdf

Sign the petition at the market stall opposite McDonald's in Rye Lane
Look out for the market stall opposite McDonald's in Rye Lane to sign the petition
Click image to download petition URL QR code.