Spending a Penny – is this the end of the Public Toilet?

The public toilet is now under the spotlight. Cornwall Council is writing to all Town and Parish Council’s for their views on this facility. If you read between the lines this means we want you to take over the running as we need to save money, if you don’t we could close them or scale back their operation.

I saw this coming, in fact, I am surprised it has taken so long. The idea of transfering toilets had been mentioned just before the District Council’s (I am talking about Kerrier) came to a end. I was then a District Councillor for Kerrier and was offered the transfer of the two toilets in Porthleven to the Town Council, which I passed this offer on to the Town Council. It was met with a no, why should we, they are a financial liability. I guess this is the same argument that Cornwall Council is using to ‘rationalise’ this service.

No doubt Cornwall Council will say it is devolving services down to the Towns and Parish Council’s. But, would they also handover services that make money so easily? No doubt Porthleven Town Council will have something to say about this letter when they next meet in Feburary; so I cannot say if they would or would not be interested in taking over these toilets.

I do know that every time the public toilets are closed unexpectedly, or are not open when they are meant to be, I get complaints from the public and businesses who inturn are getting moaned at by residents and visitors. The businesses also complain that if no public toilets are open, then people feel they use theirs without being a customer.

So a simple question that would give me some idea as to how people feel before this is discussed by Porthleven TC is. Do the people of Porthleven think the Town Council should take over the running of the toilets, and if so, would they understand if the precept increased slightly to cover this cost? Of course no one likes paying more for something, but sometimes you have to, just to save something.

Answers on a postcard (or e-mail/ blog comment)


  • Anonymous

    Bloody hell, will there be anything left!"

  • Anonymous

    Councillor,if you are a member of Porthleven Town Council why do you talk of the them as they ?shouldnt it be we?
    When exactly would town/parish councils be expected to take these over,You talk of precepts,which I think to the public are budgets,I read in the paper last week that Porthleven had set their budget for next year,or was that something else?Is there money in the budget for this or will we just get an extra bill?
    Local people dont use the toilets ,visitors do let the businees that benefit from the visitors pay for them.

  • Cllr Andrew Wallis

    @anon I was speaking as a Cornwall Councillor as I have two roles. The other is as a Member of Porthleven.

    As I said they will have to make that decision which I will be part of. This post was keeping people informed as what is going on.

    Furthermore precept is the yearly budget set by the Council

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