Support for plans to spend a penny

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I FIND it weird your ‘20p to spend a penny’ (December 1) is the leading article as it is seriously scraping the bottom of the barrel for what is a supposedly respectable newspaper.

Who is outraged? If they have to pay 20p, this is still a paltry amount and this is still not going to pay for the true cost of public loos.

I remind you the phrase ‘spend a penny’ was around when I was a small boy 60 years ago. A penny then bought you something, including the use of a loo, and if you factor in inflation then we would need circa 40p to have the same buying power today.

I recall the ability to buy a decent new-built house in the district for £3,500 in the 1960s and going back further into the 1950s a present-day £1-2m house would have been on the market for circa £10k. I use houses as they have real worth and cost real money to build, so are thereby our best indicator of long-term inflation.

I suggest the council should bite the bullet and charge 50p to make the loos pay for themselves, as after all they are a lot better than the smelly public facilities of the 1950s.

I also note the fuss you made about car parking charges going up to £4 a day in Chichester – but I am also doubtful that this still does not cover their operation and long-term maintenance.

Michael J Shaw

Itchenor