A city’s affluence, and effluence, can be determined by the quality of its public conveniences. Later today, Londoners will get the chance to pass judgment on the state and availability of the town’s loos during a public meeting at City Hall news (whose own toilets, incidentally, are pristine).
According to London Assembly’s website, ‘a panel of expert witnesses have been invited to speak’ at the meeting. Expert witnesses? On toilets? The mind boggles. Even more so when we read that one of the panel comes from London Tourist Guides Inconvenience Committee. Inconveniencing tourists is a favourite hobby of ours (“British Museum? No, no, you want to be in South Kensington…”), but we didn’t realise there was a special committee for it.
Given Londonist’s flâneur habits, we’re no stranger to the capital’s toilets, and can attest that the quality varies enormously. Westminster Station takes the piss metaphorically and actually, charging 50p for the right to spend a penny. The public lavs on Marylebone Road, by contrast, offer the patron an exquisite experience, with piped in classical music and painted tiles depicting the area’s history. No charge here, but it does smell rather of baby poo.
If you want to join in the debate, get along to City Hall for 2 O’clock. We can’t make it, so could someone please ask the following question on our behalf: Why do no two public toilets have the same mechanism for turning on the taps? And are the Tourist Inconvenience Committee behind this?