Spending a penny in Harborne High Street may soon no longer be an option – thanks to the latest round of public sector cutbacks.
The public toilets, just off the High Street, may close because Birmingham City Council is struggling to find the £6,000-a-year maintenance costs.
The toilets in the passageway between Attwood House and Barclays Bank would be demolished if plans to build a new office, shop and apartment block there go ahead.
The developers have pledged to replace the toilets with new ones in the nearby York Street Car Park – but will not pay for their upkeep.
The Harborne Society said not only was the council’s uncertainty holding up the Attwood House planning application, it was also putting in danger the future of the toilets.
Honorary secretary Phil Stokes said: “If the council won’t give a commitment to meeting the annual revenue costs, then the planning committee is in no position to require the developer to build the new toilets.’’
Steve Jarvis, senior manager at Edgbaston Constituency, said they were committed to keeping the toilets but would struggle to find the cash.
He said the council’s policy was to fund out of central budgets the modern stand-alone sliding doors “super loos” in High Streets.
But because Harborne was a prominent shopping centre with a large number of elderly users, the constituency had found the money to fund the £6,000 a year maintenance costs of the toilets in the passageway.
“With the restrictions on spending we are not in a position to say we can definitely fund these toilets in the future,” he said.
“But I know the Harborne councillors are committed to keeping the toilets, so they may be able to find money out of ward funds to pay for their running costs.
“Or it might be something the Traders’ Association could fund.”
He said whatever happened, the super loo in Harborne High Street would remain.