THE closure of a town centre public toilet in Bodmin is causing people to spend a penny in a local authority car park.
Bodmin councillors closed the conveniences off Dennison Road as part of the town council's cash-saving measures, but calls have now been made for a rethink because people are being caught short after discovering they are no longer open.
Resident Charles Stribley is campaigning to get the toilets reopened and has appealed to the council to think again after he has witnessed antisocial behaviour outside the toilets on a number of occasions.
The 70-year-old said: "People don't realise the toilets at Dennison Road are now closed and I've seen a few people urinating outside them.
"I've complained to the town council and it has sent staff down with disinfectant to clean it up, but it keeps happening."
Mr Stribley said that people needing to go to the loo pull into the car park expecting the toilets to be open.
"I've waited in the car there when my wife does the shopping and counted 18 people, including a disabled woman who was going to use them, only to find they are locked.
"I can't understand why the town council has decided to keep the toilets at Higher Bore Street open, which I doubt are used that often, but close the toilets near to the main shopping area of Bodmin, it doesn't make any sense at all.
"People who pay their council tax expect standards of common decency and that means ensuring public toilets remain open."
He has pointed out the problem at a recent town council meeting, with councillors assuring him they would look into whether the Dennison Road toilets could be reopened.
He has also voiced his concern to Cornwall councillor Ann Kerridge, who has recently been elected on to Bodmin Town Council.
Mrs Kerridge said: "I understand the concern about the closure of these toilets, and am doing my best to see if there is a way to reopen them."
Lance Kennedy, the council's chair of properties, said the decision to close the Dennison Road conveniences was a budgetary one taken by the full council.
He said steps had been taken to prevent people urinating through the grills of the conveniences, but the council had yet to decide whether they should be reopened.
"If a viable alternative is presented to us, then we will look at it," said Mr Kennedy, adding that urinating in a public place was an offence that will be dealt with by the police.