Closing Public Toilets in Cornwall

Tomorrow, at the Economy and Environment Scrutiny meeting there is an agenda item that is going to cause quite a bit of a stir. This is the long awaited and feared report into the future of the Cornwall Council owned public toilets.

It should be said the working group set up by this committee has worked really hard to come up with something within the set budget. When you have to lose over £1.1 million from a budget there is going to be some tough choices.

However, the report makes for some unpleasant reading for many areas. This is because listed in the report are numerous toilets that are recommended for closure. Out of the current 248 council owned toilets 114 are set to close.

Porthleven which has two toilets will lose one. In the report the recommendation is for the toilet near the Institute (Harbour Rd) to close, saving just over £5k per year. The Shute Lane toilet has so far escaped closure.

I shall be attending tomorrow’s meeting to argue to the case for both toilets to remain open because of the high visitor numbers Porthleven attracts over the year, but for residents too. Also, the toilet near the Institute is right next to a popular beach. Any closure of either toilet will have a negative impact on Porthleven.

In Helston, Trengrouse Way and the Monument toilets are earmarked for closure. This will no doubt be met with fury in Helston. In fact, many areas in Cornwall will see less toilets open.

For any of the ear-marked toilets to remain open the town and parish council would have to take them over. This would result in a higher precept being set, but no reduction in the over all Cornwall Council council tax. In other words it could be seen as double taxation.

Public toilets and the ability to access them are an important provision. These are not only used by the residents of Cornwall, but the many million who visit Cornwall.

Lets hope there is a change of heart at tomorrows meeting and we can save most if not all of these toilets.

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