Council could save pennies on toilets

PLANS to transfer responsibilities for public toilets could lead to charging people to spend a penny or losing the conveniences for good - a councillor says.

The council is looking to persuade town and parish councils or private individuals to run the toilets from 2013 in order to save �400,000.

The proposal, which is contained in North Somerset Council’s budget papers, suggests passing them over to parish or town councils, letting them as part of concessions so, for example, someone running a seafront caf� would also run the toilet, or closing them altogether to achieve the saving.

Although the authority says it is ‘far from inevitable’ that charges could be introduced, North Somerset councillor Mike Bell says there is a danger the public could end up with an ‘unfortunate’ choice of losing even more public toilets or have public toilets where fees apply.

He said: “North Somerset Council must think again on this, consult widely and put the interests of residents and visitors before its bottom line.”

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There are currently 29 public toilets across North Somerset.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We are looking at a number of options at the moment and have been having discussions with town and parish councils.

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“Those discussions are ongoing and no decisions have been reached yet.”

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