Carry on at your (public) convenience
Cornwall Council is trying to off-load the public toilet onto the town and parish council’s. Cornwall Council says it has no statutory duty to provide this service: which costs around £3m per year to run. The Council says it needs to save £1m from this budget. If Cornwall Council thinks by handing it over to the town and parish council’s this is the way to save this money, then it is missing the trick.
The official response ( I like to use spin) is it could be part of a package of devolution (click here). However, you won’t get a reduction on council tax from Cornwall Council, but in fact you will pay more tax because the cost will just be passed onto the town and parish councils who will have to add-on extra to their precept.
Porthleven has two toilets and the cost of running these two toilets is as follows:
Shute Lane – £13,607 which includes water, business rates and electricity
Harbour Rd – £7,697 again includes the same costs as Shute Lane.
(These costs do not take into account any maintenance due to wear and tear, or worse, vandalism)
If Porthleven TC did take them over the budget required to run them as now equates to 31% of the town councils precept. This would mean the costs would have to be added to the precept, and worse, the extra to cover any maintenance/vandalism.
For smaller towns and parishes the cost of running toilets would be more than some precept for. What would happen if Cornwall Council said it would just close the toilets? Would a town or parish council then be forced into taking them over, and then be forced to add an extra tax?
Let’s hope it is just my suspicious nature and this will not happen…..