RESIDENTS will have to pay 30p to use a public toilet in Wirral from March.

Wirral Council say that they have made a commitment to keep the borough's public toilets open but to do this they must introduce a small charge to 'contribute to management, maintenance and operating of facilities.'

Users will be charged 30p per visit to a public toilet at West Kirby Marine Lake, Moreton Garden Lane, Leasowe Common, Harrison Drive and Hoyle Road - these locations will be the first to have charges introduced.

The charges will come into effect from March 4.

Work to install a turnstile at West Kirby will begin next week and during this time, they will be closed to the public.

Cabinet member for Environment Cllr Anita Leech said: "Last year, councillors chose to introduce charges to public toilets in a bid to avoid closures.

"Councils are not required by law to provide any public toilets, however, because we recognise their importance to our communities, introducing charges was the only way we could continue to provide this facility."

All meters will accept 10p and 20p coins and no change will be given.

West Kirby will have a turnstile that will accept coins but will also offer contactless payment.

The cash raised will contribute to the service running costs and help to upgrade other toilets that need improvements.

Commenting on Labour’s introduction of charges to use public toilets, Conservative ward councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie Cllr Steve Williams said: “For many people, using a public toilet is a necessity – particularly the elderly or parents with young children.

"The cost of installing payment machines and barriers, as well as collecting any fees that are paid, will cost a small fortune and I doubt very much the fees paid will cover this huge inconvenience for our residents.

“You can bet the toilets in the Town Hall will be kept free for the councillors and senior directors."