Published on 10th February 2023

Four jockeys in colourful silks racing astride their horses.

Residents and businesses asked for their expressions of interest in hydrophobic paint to deter public urination during racing festival.

A war on wee has been declared against people who urinate in public during race week and hydrophobic paint - which repels liquids – will be made available to affected residents and businesses for the first time.

Record numbers of race goers are expected at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival in March. Between 14 and 17 March 2023, upwards of 250,000 racegoers and visitors will arrive in the town.

During previous festivals, whilst additional temporary toilets were installed along the main routes to the racecourse, many racegoers still chose to urinate in public spaces.

Working with all partners and communities, and with a series of other measures, the council wish to hear from businesses and residents interested in supporting the new hydrophobic paint initiative.

Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member 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 aims to make the hydrophobic paint available well in advance of the March Festival and asks businesses and residents to register their interest through the engagement hub. The council will contact interested businesses and residents during the week commencing 27 February 2023 with further information.

Cheltenham BID are supporting the council’s roll out of hydrophobic paint to BID businesses in the town.

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.’’

The anti-wee initiative will be supported by a #KeepItCleanCheltenham campaign due to launch in time for the March Festival which aims 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.

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