Tweets on 2008-12-27

  • Boggling at the Only Connect final on ipLayer. Lapsed Psychologists still to score. #
  • Generation Game from 1973. OMFG. Even creepier than the Peep Show we were watching just before it. #

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Don’t pee in public

For the last few days, Twitter has been alive with people across the world forwarding links to this story on the local BBC site.

Apparently some prankster with a colour printer and a laminating machine has been making extremely official looking signs telling Nottingham’s revellers that they are allowed to urinate in certain spots after nightfall. A further letter with the official council logo on it explains that the spots will be cleaned by the Council in the early hours of the morning.

This is of course not true. It is not permitted to urinate in public anywhere in the city, and although a small army of people clean the city centre in the early hours of every morning, there is no group tasked with hosing urine off walls in back alleys.

Nonetheless, there are no public toilets in the city centre at night. During the day, there is a brand new, award winning toilet including an extra wide “changing places” toilet for the disabled. Unfortunately this is down a side street that whilst it is in the very centre of town, is a little difficult to find. My council colleague Cllr Marshall has been campaigning for ages for better signs pointing it out, as the current ones are a master of design, in that they look quite good, but fail to do the job of pointing things out, because they are quite small.

Councils are in a bit of a bind about public toilets. They are expensive to clean and maintain. Mindless vandals damage them. And even the busiest toilets in public places can find themselves being misused by gentleman seeking a different sort of relief, unless you fork out even more for an attendant. Over the last ten years, Nottingham has been closing the grottiest underground lavs, including the ones in Market Square, Theatre Square, Trinity Square, the Maid Marion Way underpass.

And yet there are a lot of people who come to Nottingham at night specifically to drink, whose late night needs are not catered for. If you ask the Council what people who are caught short are supposed to do, the official response comes back that people should go before they leave the establishments in which they have been drinking. This leads to a rather odd thought that bouncers should be redeployed to asking patrons “have you been?” on their way out.

Perhaps a better solution would be to adopt a version of Kingston’s Community Toilets scheme – local pubs and caffs are paid a small amount annually to make their toilets available to the public as well as patrons. The cost to the council is significantly lower than staffing their own toilets, and because they are in active premises they are less likely to be abused by the public.

Tweets on 2008-12-25

  • Eek, is getting dark – I have to clean the car (a bit) #
  • @helenduffett the INSIDE of the car which is unfortunately lit up by magic lighty things. in reply to helenduffett #
  • V disappointed with performance of hoover in car, and worried by damp bits. All sorts of finds, tho: 1,000s leaflets, 48 tins cat food… #
  • And have spoken to neighbours more whilst cleaning car on Xmas eve than more or less for the whole of the rest of the year! erk. #
  • Wrestling with GPS gadgetry #
  • Oh, lordy, please spare me having to listen to Christmas with Boney M again #
  • @jonxyz An hour playing World of Goo demo… hard to call that time wasted, really 🙂 in reply to jonxyz #
  • @kayray Does Santa have Wii Points? Wolrd of Goo is v v good. in reply to kayray #
  • Bah Humbug. Dean of Peterborough looks like Peter Griffin in a chasuble. #
  • @helenduffett who gets to be Rudolph? in reply to helenduffett #
  • Burning CDs for car journey tomorrow. #
  • Waking at inopportune moment in dream. #
  • Dealing with the gifts from the cats. A turd? For me? You shouldn’t have. #
  • Very long queue for only working coffee machine at Cherwell Valley Cathedral of Despair. #

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Tweets on 2008-12-23

  • Having last minute crisis of confidence. Have so far bought no Xmas pressies at all. Should I stick it out or join the herd? 🙂 #
  • Helping an old lady get some temporary heating over Christmas. #
  • Wondering whether my fingernails are growing quicker than they used to or whether time passes quicker now I’m old. #
  • World of Goo FTW! #

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