Public to have their say on future of Porthleven's toilets
2:00pm Tuesday 14th August 2012 in News
A public 'referendum' will allow residents of Porthleven a say in the future of the port's toilets.
Mayor Mark Berryman said there was now “no doubt” Cornwall Council would close them unless the town council took on responsibility. Cornwall Council had agreed to fund the Shute Lane toilets, with the town taking on the running, but would not fund the Harbour Road facilities.
However, if the town council agreed to take them on the county would refurbish both sets of toilets. While the town council would not own the freehold of the toilets, they would be on a 99-year lease costing £1 per year, with a six-month get-out-clause.
While the town council was still working on getting the best deal, Mr Berryman said there was feasibly only three ways of paying for the toilets: council tax, a mixture of council tax and charging for using the toilets, or contributions from businesses. He told the town's councillors: “I think this is so important we need to put this to, if you like, a 'referendum' in the town. Give the residents of the options.”
Mr Berryman agreed that it wasn't generally the residents that used the toilets but visitors, with the businesses getting the benefit, but added: “The business tax doesn't go to the town, it goes straight to Whitehall. “I think it's pretty clear from their negotiating stance that they [Cornwall Council] are quite happy to close toilets. We have to see what people want.”
Councillor Harry Pugh said: “You don't really appreciate them until you need them.”
Members agreed they were “minded to take them on” and for negotiations to continue. A meeting is now due to take place next month between the town council and Cornwall Council, to talk about the takeover in more detail.