Will the public toilets stay open?

Friday 21st September 2018 8:55 am
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As councillors debate over the possibility of keeping public toilets open, district council say the building can’t be used for anything other than toilets.

Kingswear Parish Council has been approached by the district council to ask if it would consider taking over the public toilets in the village.

However, county, district and parish councillor Jonathan Hawkins said he thought there was a condition over the building which meant it had to be used for toilets and these toilets couldn’t be closed.

This was discussed at the full council meeting of Kingswear Parish Council on Tuesday, September 11.

Councillors were surprised at the estimated cost of £17,000 to take over the public toilets in the centre of Kingswear.

However, in response Cllr Rufus Gilbert, South Hams District Council’s Lead Member for Commercial Services, said: “There’s a condition on the building that it cannot be used for anything other than toilets. We are consulting with the Parish Council to review if it’s possible to keep the toilets open.”

Cllr Jan Henshall said: “I personally think we’ve got to do it because the toilets are important.”

She said she would like to ask South Hams District Council if it would consider giving the parish council some money towards the upkeep of it.

The public toilets facility in The Square is mainly used by people in the ferry queue explained Cllr Henshall.

Cllr Mike Trevorrow said he didn’t think this was a parish council’s responsibility and Cllr Ruth Searle said the council would need to look into the cost of running them.

Cllr Lucy Payne asked what other parishes had done and Cllr Hawkins said Dittisham, Stoke Gabriel and Dartmouth had all taken the public toilets over. He said Dittisham council was using SHDC to clean the toilets and Stoke Gabriel had a local person cleaning them.

Cllr Edward Jones said the council could perhaps contact Dartmouth Town Council to ask if it could help with the possible taking over and cleaning of the public toilets.

Councillors decided the decision should be left awhile and wait for the roof of the public toilets building in The Square to be fixed first.

They voted to write to SHDC to ask them about repairing the roof and ask if the council would close the toilets if it came to it.

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