Hope springs eternal for Penryn public toilets
Negotiations are ongoing over Penryn's public toilets, which Cornwall Council wants to “offload” on the town.
At a meeting of the town council on Monday, town clerk Michelle Davey reported to members that a number of meetings had been held since the issue was first debated in July.
She said that despite what was previously thought, a grant offered by Cornwall Council for the running of the toilets could be split between both the facilities in Permarin car park and at Exchequer Quay.
“This clearly gives a greater degree of flexibility around reducing costs of operating the facilities,” she said, yet a “curve ball” from the unitary authority had also upset matters.
She said that if the town council took on responsibility for the toilets, they may also have to employ the same staff currently employed by Cornwall Council because of the way the contracts were negotiated.
Councillors slammed the current cleaning arrangements, with town mayor Gill Grant informing members that she had been to inspect the toilets that day and they “didn't look like there had been any cleaning for months.”
“I thought they were just disgusting, stinking and tacky,” she said.
Councillor Martin Mullins was annoyed by the prospect of having to keep on the current cleaning staff.
He said: “Once again you see a higher body wanting to offload some of their responsibilities on local councils and then they are dictating at the same time.
“The cost of the toilets was the very reason that Cornwall Council wanted to give them up and now they are passing it on to a smaller body.”
Councillor Mark Snowdon pointed out that under the terms of the lease, if Penryn Town Council were to adopt the toilets they could terminate the agreement at any time so long as they gave six months notice.
“They need someone to look after them,” he said.
Mrs Grant added that Cornwall Council had promised to “deliver the toilets to us in a pristine condition.”
She said: “They have said they will update them to what we wanted.
“We have got a lot of negotiating to do and it's just a question of wait and see really.”
The town council must make a final decision on the toilets by April.