Row as pay on en­try toi­lets scheme set to go ahead

Herald Express - - News - BY DANIEL CLARK

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.

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