28/02/2011 - Permalink

Parish council takes on local public convenience

Related topics: Democracy / Health

Clun and Chapel Lawn Parish Council have agreed to take on the running of their local public convenience. At a meeting of the parish council they accepted the operation of the toilets, with support from Shropshire Council.

The transfer of the toilet facility will be at no cost to the parish council. Shropshire Council will continue to support the transition by providing one year’s financial support, minor repairs and maintenance.

Shropshire Council will also support the ability for the parish to charge for use and retain income. After one year, the local public convenience will be the responsibility of the parish council.

Councillor Martin Taylor Smith, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for development services, said:

“It’s good news that Clun and Chapel Lawn Parish Council will operate the public toilets in the future; this allows Shropshire Council to reduce its future expenditure, but allows provision of this key service to continue to be operated by the local parish council, with our support. This demonstrates a practical approach to reducing Shropshire Council expenditure, without simply cutting local services. In these economic times, all public bodies need to be prepared to work differently and in new ways.”

Eric Williams, parish clerk, said

“The parish council firmly believes that the public toilets should continue to operate, as they are mainly used by visitors not only to Clun but other parts of Shropshire. So, subject to the parish council approving all the final paperwork and some further details, we are happy to operate this facility. It is important to our local area that public toilets are retained, despite the increase in local council tax for residents of the parish area.”

Nigel Hartin, local Shropshire Councillor for Clun, said:

“The parish council held its own public consultation exercise which showed majority support for them to take over control of the toilets, and I am very pleased they have agreed to do so as the economic vitality of the area could have been damaged if they had been shut down.”

Although Shropshire Council will not be directly providing toilets in the future, they are committed in making arrangements to support the future of these facilities rather than their closure, so they remain as toilets for the benefit of local residents
and visitors.

Rather than closing all 30 public toilets across Shropshire, the council hopes to transfer the running of the toilets to outside bodies, town councils or parish councils by April 2011, and will support the transition, should they wish to adopt this provision.