The Candy Press can reveal that there is intense disquiet within County Hall at the level of toilet facilities provided at some of the festivals and events which have taken place on the island this summer.
For instance, at both The Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival there were hundreds of extra toilets provided for festival goers.
The Isle of Wight Council is concerned that the provision of these extra facilities might cause some members of the public to have doubts about their decision in 2011 to reduce the number of public toilets islandwide.
“If festival organisers clearly believe they need to provide toilets, some people may ask themselves why the council feels public toilets are so unnecessary,” said Cllr Toady Goals, Council Member for Effluent. “Islanders might start to believe that last years closure of public toilets was simply a money saving exercise, rather than the result of extensive statistical calculations, as we claimed last year” he added.
Cllr Goals did concede that since most of the people attending the festivals were “pissed out their heads most of the time”, this might have a bearing on why so many toilets were needed.
However he could not understand why three Portaloos were placed on Bembridge Down during the recent Kite Festival. “The majority of those attending the kite festival were young mothers and children, what on earth do they need toilets for?” he asked, “anyway, there are enough hedges and ditches up there already without extra facilities being necessary.”
There are also concerns about the effect that the transportation of all the Portaloos to and from the Island may have on the internationally acclaimed EcoIsland initiative. Everyone knows about “food-miles” said the project leaders, but we are trying to educate people about “crap-miles” as well. “We really do have to take a holistic approach when considering our consumption, there’s no point worrying about where our food comes from, if you don’t consider what happens to it after its been digested.”
In an attempt to avoid a repeat of these issues in 2013 the council is considering limiting the number of toilets as part of the events licence conditions.
The Candy Press made a Freedom of Information request to see the basis of the calculations used in last years public toilets “consultations”, but apparently the cigarette packet on the back of which they were written, has already been sent to Edmonton for recycling.