11:00am Monday 23rd July 2012
By Greg Fountain
A decision on the future of Penryn's public toilets had to be made last week, following pressure from Cornwall Council who are removing funding from the service.
Town clerk Michelle Davey said county hall was not prepared to pay for both sets of toilets - on Exchequer Quay and in Permarin Car Park - and was only offering a grant for Permarin toilets, to cover the full cost of maintenance less half the cleaning costs.
The suggestion put forward to the town council was to let the toilets on a 99-year lease for £1 a year, taking on responsibility for repairing and insuring the facilities.
Options put before councillors ranged from closing both toilets at zero cost to the taxpayer to keeping both open at the current arrangements, which would cost £10,669 a year.
Councillor Ted Wilkes said: “I think this is Cornwall Council just passing the buck again.
“We already pay in our tax for these services and I think it's a cheek. I don't think we should do it, Cornwall Council is paid enough to do it.”
Frustrations were aired that the Harbours Board had not offered any money towards the public toilets on Exchequer Quay, which are used mostly by “boat people,” councillors said.
Miss Davey said: “The suggestion came from Cornwall Council to just keep the disabled toilet on Exchequer Quay open because although it is for disabled people that does not mean that able bodied people won't be allowed to use it.
“If we take that option we would have to precept for it in the coming year.”
Councillor Mark Snowdon said: “The way I look at it is although Cornwall Council maybe passing the buck, at the end of the day we are being offered a grant to maintain the main one - the Permarin one.
“I personally think the one down on Exchequer Quay, you have a cafe down there that has been there for many years and the people who run that cafe need our support, so even if it goes down to one disabled one it's better than nothing.”
Councillors voted to keep the toilets at Permarin Car Park open with a disabled toilet only at Exchequer Quay. The total estimated cost to the precept with this option will be £4,500.
Councillor Vicki Bennett said: “We can't be a town this size and not have lavatories.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group