Town mouse on a public inconvenience

We can hardly contain ourselves: a new public lavatory is about to be built. In fact, it ought to have gone up already.

The exorbitant cost is being met with money delegated by Westminster City Council to individual wards, to spend according to local need. Our ward opted for the lavatory, to prevent what the

Victorians would’ve referred to as ‘nuisance’ (it was a problem on Nash’s Regent Street quadrant, which had columns). City workers emerge from the Tube station, having spent the evening in the watering holes of Canary Wharf, and, after a longish trip, know no shame. People once worried about public spitting, a vice formerly confined to the Continent, yet who could have predicted this new affront to decorum? But the question arises: where should the thing go?

The original site has been rejected because of the number of gas pipes and electricity cables underground. The office building on the other site of the street is occupied by anti-terrorist spooks: having just dug up the pavement to erect crash-proof bollards, they would hardly welcome the security risk of a loo on their doorstep. I learn the public library is to close: perhaps it had better go there. They could leave the more episodic books for light reading.