Council set to break the seal of water-repellent paint ahead of race week War On Wee

Business owners and residents asked to show their interest for water-repellent paint to help fight back against people who urinate in public.

Residents and businesses are being asked for their expressions of interest in water-repellent paint to deter public urination during the March racing festival.

A War On Wee has once again been declared against people who urinate in public during race week. Water-repellent paint will be made available to affected residents and businesses.

Record numbers of race goers are expected at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival in March. Between 12 and 15 March 2024, 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 initiative.

Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing, said: “Cheltenham people are sick of seeing a minority of disrespectful racegoers urinating in public in broad daylight.  It’s absolutely not on. We want people to have a good time and enjoy the races, but please treat our town with respect too. There are plenty of extra temporary loos placed all around the town and there’s no excuse for weeing in broad daylight.  People who decide to wee in public should be under no illusion – they could end up with wet trousers if they pick one of the walls covered in water-repellent paint.”

The council aims to make the water-repellent 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 26 February 2024 with further information.

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

Heath Gunter, chief executive at Cheltenham BID, said: “As last year, we are hoping that the water-repellent 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 again 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 Cheltenham racecourse and Gloucestershire Constabulary 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.


For press enquiries contact: communications team, 01242 264231, email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk.

Photo single use only: Cllr Max Wilkinson member for economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing, Cheltenham BID Ambassador Jo-Anne Hale and Sam Robinson Neighbourhood team leader.

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