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Scrap business rates on public toilets, says MP

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: July 17, 2013

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NORTH CORNWALL MP Dan Rogerson has launched a campaign to scrap the charging of business rates on public toilets to help keep more public conveniences open and free to use.

Town and parish councils that are in charge of public toilets are obliged to pay business rates for the toilets they run.

Bodmin Town Council has recently closed the loo it owns at Dennison Road car park to save cash, which has brought complaints from residents.

Dan Rogerson has tabled a motion in the House of Commons calling on the Government to make public toilets exempt from business rate charges, to help keep more public toilets open and to keep them free to use.

While some smaller parish councils can claim small business rate relief to get out of paying the charges, scrapping business rates for public toilets would make the system simpler and would cover all town and parish councils.

Under the former Conservative-Independent administration running Cornwall Council, many public toilets became the responsibility of town and parish councils, or closed altogether.

Mr Rogerson said: "I know how it important it is to local people, businesses and visitors alike that our towns and villages have decent public toilets.

"As all councils are asked to make savings, I think it is right that the Government stops charging town and parish councils business rates on public toilets – after all council-run toilets aren't businesses.

"Removing this unfair tax on parish councils and communities would help make public toilets cheaper to run, leading to more toilets staying open and remaining free to use."

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