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Traders' anger at decision to close Boscastle's public toilets

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 22, 2013

Traders' anger at decision to close Boscastle's public toilets

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TRADERS in Boscastle have called on Cornwall Council chiefs to rethink their plan to close the village's public toilets on weekdays during the winter.

Business leaders have reacted angrily to the news, reported in last month's Cornish Guardian, which will see the toilets in the main car park close on weekdays from November to March.

A 20p charge will also be incurred by toilet users.

Rosemary Bromwich, who runs a holiday let business in the village, said the council's decision was short-sighted.

"Boscastle often has many coach parties visit, which park in that car park and the visitors may want to use the toilet. But if it is shut then they cannot use it – it will really affect the people and businesses of Boscastle; it makes no sense.

"The council needs to re-think its decision."

Peter Dixon, chairman of Boscastle Chamber of Trade, said the "cash cow" car park and toilets were intrinsically linked and should be treated as one.

"The car park brings in £200,000 [a year] for the council and has the second highest turnover of any car park in Cornwall," he said.

"It makes a profit on the car park of £150,000 a year. People say that the toilets and the car park should be treated as one – but one denies the other.

"The toilets are an intricate part of the tourists' and customers' experience," he said.

"They should be available 24 hours, but we have to make do with them being open for so many hours during the day. However, they should certainly be open in the winter."

He was also unhappy about the decision to charge people to use the toilets.

"We were not consulted about the charging. We are not happy about it all. We will continue to fight this, 100 per cent."

He said people were queuing outside the facilities, thinking there was only one cubicle inside.

The toilets cost £19,000 to operate and Cornwall Council offered Forrabury and Minster Parish Council a £15,000 grant to take them on.

Peter Templar, owner of the Riverside Hotel, said people were urinating in the recycling area – rather than pay the 20p charge to use the toilets.

"Is the council trying to push people away from Cornwall?" he asked.

"Cornwall is all about tourism but the council is not making the cuts in the right areas."

Glenton Brown, Cornwall councillor for Boscastle, said: "The parish council can still talk to Cornwall Council about taking them on and I think this might be the best idea for the ratepayer. This would give the parish council more control."

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  • josdave  |  June 23 2013, 11:28AM

    Toilets are essential and airports are a luxury and which one does the council subsidise? Time for someone there to get their priorities right and look after the people who pay their wages.

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  • wringer  |  June 22 2013, 10:48AM

    so there are the figures. £19,000 a year to run the toilets and the council car park makes a profit of £150,000. so where is that money going then? that's right £3,000,000 per year every year to subsidise the airport. ask the people of Cornwall again what they want money spent on and toilets will be at the top of the list and the airport at the bottom. for these traders scraping by in the winter is what keeps them going. is there no one in cornwall council either elected member or officer who understands how tourism businesses work.

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