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Leaked email reveals warning to council staff over the ‘horrifying’ state of their toilets

Paul Miles

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Paul Miles

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Leaked email reveals warning to council staff over the ‘horrifying’ state of their toilets

The ‘horrifying’ state of the toilets at Slough Borough Council (SBC) has led to a telling off for its employees.

A blanket email was sent to all 800 SBC employees on Friday, April 22, calling for staff to clean up their act after it revealed taxpayers’ cash is being spent on replacing damaged toilet seats and hiring extra cleaning staff to help clear up the council filth.

The email was leaked to the Express by a bemused councillor.

It is entitled ‘toilet talk’ and was sent to staff across both of its main sites - St Martin’s Place in Bath Road and Landmark Place in High Street.

The email warns that its cleaners are so horrified by the state of the loos that they are considering refusing to clean them anymore while extra money is also having to be spent on extra cleaning and replacing broken equipment.

It also contains advice on how council staff can improve their toilet habits. These include saying  ‘seats are for bottoms, not for feet; please do not stand on the toilets’ and ‘if you happen to sprinkle into a wider area than you aimed for, please clear up any spillages’.

It also warns that vandalism is a disciplinary offence. Staff are also advised to pick up any toilet tissue which finds its way to the floor.

It signs off by saying: “We thank you in advance for your help in keeping our thrones throne-like; it is all of our responsibility not to gross-out our colleagues or our cleaners.”

When contacted for a comment about the email, a Slough Borough Council spokesman said: “There have been some incidents recently which led us to raising the issue with our staff.

“Obviously it can be a sensitive subject. Toileting is not something you discuss in polite company so our view was to explain the issue that we have been having in a way that engages all of our staff.”

When quizzed about the extra money being spent on cleaning up the problem, the spokesman said there had been a number of incidents involving broken toilet seats.

They added: “It is not huge amounts of money but it is still money we should not have to spend.”


Here is the email sent to council staff in full:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

We need to talk about the ladies and the gents. Not us, but our toilets.

We know this is a subject that makes many people uncomfortable – but when it gets to the stage where our cleaners are so horrified by the state of our loos at the end of the day they are considering refusing to clean them anymore and we are spending extra money on extra cleaning and broken equipment we need to raise the subject (and even in polite company).

Our toilets may not be perfect, the flush doesn’t always flush or fill up very fast, the seats can be wobbly, the water hot or cold and the hand driers not the fastest – but the only people who use these facilities are us and we have no excuses for the state they seem to get into.

So, to encourage everyone to play their part we would like to remind staff of the following:

- Walls and floors are not appropriate places to leave any bodily fluids, ever

- If, for any reason you take water into the cubicles to wash yourself, please ensure you clear up any that ends up on the floor or seats – you don’t want the next person in there to think you can’t hit the bowl when having a tinkle

- Seats are for bottoms, not for feet; please do not stand on the toilets

- Ladies – please use sanitary bins for sanitary products only and not for toilet tissue as it fills them up too quickly. The pipes are large and the sewers eager to receive your non-sanitary waste, even when the flush takes more energy

- Ladies – ensure when items are put in the sanitary bins they fall into the bin and are not left stuck in the lid slot

- Always wash your hands and dry them thoroughly – no one likes to touch a damp door handle

- If you must use toilet tissue to dry your hands, please put it in the bin

- The floor is not where people look for toilet tissue – please pick up any that might accidently end up there

- If you happen to sprinkle into a wider area than you aimed for, please clear up any spillages

- Wanton vandalism will not be tolerated and is a disciplinary offence

- And if there is a problem with a loo – please don’t just close the lid and ignore it; report it to facilities immediately so action can be taken. No one will worry about whether you broke it or not – they will just be glad you did something about it.

We thank you in advance for your help in keeping our thrones throne-like; it is all of our responsibility not to gross-out our colleagues or our cleaners.

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