Row as pay on entry toilets scheme set to go ahead
PAY-TO-PEE plans will be introduced at six public toilets in South Devon, while a further 10 could close.
Severe budget challenges for the district council mean it is no longer financially viable for it to continue paying to keep all 41 toilets in the district open.
The South Hams executive approved introducing pay-on-entry at toilets in Dittisham, Hope Cove, Ivybridge and for Coronation Road, Steamer Quay and the civic hall in Totnes.
Toilets in Bigbury, Torcross and Strete Gate will remain free, but car parking charges are set to rise to cover the costs.
The toilets in Fore Street in Kingsbridge will remain free, but the town council will have to make an annual payment of £4,200 in lieu of pay-on-entry facilities being installed.
It was agreed the toilets in Holbeton, Newton Ferrers, Staverton, Bittaford and Ug- borough will close in September 2019, unless proposals to transfer the asset to the town or parish councils are agreed. Proposal by parish councils to take on toilets in Malborough, South Brent, Kingswear Lower Ferry and Thurlestone have been agreed in principle.
But the toilets in Manor Gardens in Dartmouth, the Higher Ferry in Kingswear, South Milton and Stoke Fleming are due to close in September 2019.
The council will withdraw its cleaning service from the Shipley Bridge toilets, but they will remain open, while toilets at East Prawle, the Dartmouth park-and-ride, Ermington, Loddiswell, Modbury, Noss Mayo, Challaborough and Beesands will remain free.
But a row broke out among councillors over the future of Totnes toilets. Cllr John Birch said: “The cost to convert the toilets in Totnes into pay-on-entry costs £52,000. For that to be recovered, we need to have these loos visited by 250,000 people.
“But there is widespread opposition to pay-and-entry in Totnes and it will go down like a lead balloon if this happens.”
And he claimed the first time the town council was aware Steamer Quay was on the ‘hit list’ was last week in an email. He said: “It has to be worth consulting the operator of the café and the pleasure boats, and for the town council to consider other options.”
Cllr Gilbert said Steamer Quay was on the list proposed for pay-on-entry agreed by the executive in April, and slammed the town council for not coming up with a solution.