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Plans could see every public toilet in county shut

13 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Photo by Marcel Gnauk from Pixabay

Richard Evans Local Democracy Reporter

Plans that could see the closure of every public toilet in one county have been slammed as damaging to tourism and inconsiderate to the elderly, disabled people and young families.

At a community scrutiny committee on Thursday, Denbighshire councillors will discuss proposals to stop funding all 20 public conveniences in the county.

The move to cut the non-statutory service is estimated to save the council £200,000 a year – although the service itself costs around £270,000.

“No guarantees”

Instead the council will seek to pass on the toilets to community and town councils, but there are no guarantees smaller councils will take on the financial burden.

The council will also fund a community grant scheme, paying businesses £500 a year to make their toilets available to the public.

The proposed cuts come as the authority increases council tax by 9.34% and slashes frontline service budgets.

Denbighshire Council says it is facing unprecedented financial difficulties, despite receiving a 3.7% rise in its local government settlement, the highest in North Wales.

Rhyl councillor Brian Jones slammed the proposals.

“The proposals to close all the public toilets in Denbighshire, I don’t think they’ve fully considered the impact,” he said.

“It probably hasn’t been thought out properly, and an example of that, elderly people, in a lot of cases with medical conditions, if they do need a public convenience, it is there for them, and they can plan (their journeys).

“If you take that away, I believe that will restrict older people from going into towns and villages and elsewhere.

“It hasn’t been considered carefully, and this £500 offer to businesses to offer their facilities just doesn’t stack up. It’s an absolutely ludicrous suggestion.

Affected groups

He added: “Disabled people, young mothers, young parents with children, guardians will have the same issues.

“If you close the public conveniences on the promenade, what does that say to people?

“This is just the wrong message, not thought through, another wrong priority.

“It is difficult for a county councillor such as myself who is in touch with the people, a people’s man. How can I defend some of this?

“The claim that inflation has had a massive effect on the budget – not everything has gone up during the inflation crisis by 11%.

“But certain people choose to cling onto that. It is totally wrong to take away public conveniences.”

He added: “They’re going to the local town councils and the parish councils to see what can be worked out there.

“My response to that is they should have done all that work behind closed doors.

“But they haven’t done that.

“They’ve chucked it in front of a meeting on Thursday. It is very difficult at this point in time to sit there as a county councillor on the back benches.”

Scrutiny

The plans will be discussed at the meeting at Ruthin County Hall on Thursday where the committee will scrutinise the report before it is redebated by cabinet.

The report to be considered concludes: “It is understood that this proposal will not be popular, and that it could be viewed as contrary to other strategic aims in the areas of tourism and regeneration.

“However, declaring our intention to remove the budget for our public conveniences is likely to be the best way to identify potential alternative operators.”


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Richard E
Richard E
29 days ago

DCC did everything in their power to stop the larger Town Councils taking over the function.

They did however want them to pay for them.

Feel their in the ‘ cach ‘ on this one now ?

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
29 days ago

Disgusting! If they close the toilets, some people will urinate in public areas. That will surely cost much more to clean up.

Are they considering people with incontinence issues, elderly people, disabled people, ill people? Where will these people be able to go to answer nature’s call?

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
29 days ago

DCC want Town and Community Councils to take on more and more of the County Councils functions. Makes me wonder should we just get rid of County Councils and give the money and responsibilities to the Town/Community Councils who do everything on a voluntary basis for more efficiently and cut out the fat cat County Council Councillours who get paid very well.

Frank
Frank
29 days ago

£200k is insignificant compared to the millions councils spend on useless projects. Here in Carmarthenshire we have a council who spends millions on cycle paths that no one uses, silly sculptures and meaningless stone walls on roundabouts and many other harebrained schemes. Toilets, clean toilets, are essential everywhere. Perhaps they have an idea up their sleeves of employing a warden to keep an eye on people who are caught short and have to use doorways to pee in so they can rake in money in penalties.

Last edited 29 days ago by Frank
Jeff
Jeff
29 days ago

Basically this is an exclusion policy on disabled elderly and young families and also those that need them because some have to go when they need to.

I don’t care about the 20mph, or the tourist tax but I wont go where there are no loo’s. Denbighshire off the list then.

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
29 days ago

If we want a civil society then public toilets are one of it’s foundations, just a basic expression and recognition of the individuals needs and right to dignity and privacy.

Why vote
Why vote
28 days ago

They have forgotten why we have them, obviously. Are any toilets in County Hall public. Will they be closed????? It would be nice if the powers that be looked at a history book now and again.

William
William
28 days ago

What about people with medical conditions.
Remove toilets from council offices

William
William
28 days ago

I urge non residents to not visit this county.. see how they like the loss of the grey and tourist pounds on their economy.

Karl
Karl
27 days ago

Public toilets shut many years ago in my town, then suddenly a nearby lane starts snelling of urine. Basic public amenities are a right not a privilege.

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