Cheltenham council to provide hydrophobic paint in ‘war on wee' during race week
Cheltenham Borough Council is to provide hydrophobic paint – which repels water – to residents and businesses for the first time to deter racegoers from urinating publicly.
The council say the initiative, supported by Cheltenham BID, is part of its “war on wee” ahead of Cheltenham Festival, which takes place between March 14 and 17.
More than 250,000 racegoers and visitors are expected to arrive in the town for race week.
During previous festivals, additional temporary toilets were installed around the main routes to the racecourse – but many people urinated in public spaces, a council spokesman said.
Councillor Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing, said: “Public urination at any time is disgusting and we shouldn't have to put up with this anymore.
“Last year, I saw a line of men brazenly weeing against a wall near the town centre, while hundreds of people sat in traffic queues just yards away – they were totally shameless.
“I'm sure the prospect of wet trousers will make people think twice, even if they think they won't get caught and fined.”
The council said it was aiming to make the paint available in advance of the festival and is asking businesses and residents to register their interest.
Heath Gunter, chief executive at Cheltenham BID, said: “We are hoping that the hydrophobic paint will discourage individuals from urinating on the walls in town.
“Such behaviour is unpleasant to witness and creates extra cleaning responsibilities for local businesses. The BID are happy to support the council with this initiative.”
A campaign called #KeepItCleanCheltenham will also run in time for the festival to raise awareness and stamp down on antisocial behaviour, including public urinating and littering.
“The council is also working with Gloucestershire Constabulary and Cheltenham Racecourse to increase the number of temporary public toilets, visibility at key points and junctions and issue fixed penalty notices where necessary for those who still chose to urinate in public,” a council spokesman added.