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A ray of hope for toilets in Fowey and Lostwithiel

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

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TOWN councillors in Fowey and Lostwithiel remain in discussions over the future of the towns' public toilets.

Talks to try to resolve the closure of Lostwithiel's public toilets have been described as "encouraging'' by the town's deputy mayor Pam Jarrett.

A meeting was held last Thursday between a group of town councillors and two officers from Cornwall Council.

No decision was made on whether the Church Lane facilities will re-open under the ownership of the town council, which is hoping a new deal can be struck with leaders at County Hall.

Town councillors broke off negotiations with Cornwall Council late last year after both parties failed to agree the extent of refurbishment costs.

The local authority had offered to spend £23,000 renovating the toilets, but the town council insisted before it took ownership, expensive repairs also had to be made to the drainage system. Talks broke down and County Hall shut the toilets over the Christmas period.

The main problem now is that Cornwall Council says it no longer has the money in its budget to refurbish the conveniences, which could prompt Lostwithiel Town Council to make a financial contribution to get the toilets open again.

Mrs Jarrett said town councillors were due to hold another meeting with County Hall officials in the near future.

"I was encouraged by the meeting; it certainly wasn't totally negative,'' she said.

"Cornwall Council doesn't have the money now in its budget to refurbish our toilets, a situation other town and parish councils are also finding when it comes to their toilets.

"But a number of options were put on the table and basically the officers from Cornwall Council are going away to think about them, and we will meet again very shortly.''

Fowey councillors are set to meet today with local authority officials to try and break the deadlock over the future of the port's public loos.

The town council agreed to take over responsibility for the toilets 13 months ago.

But the plans have stalled due to continuing delays and disagreements over costs.

With the conveniences at Whitehouse already closed, the town council had proposed the transfer from Cornwall Council of the ownership of the toilets at Caffa Mill, Town Quay, Readymoney and the main car park.

The package also includes the transfer of Caffa Mill car park and Squires Field.

The impasse is over the running costs. Cornwall Council has spent an average of £50,000 per year maintaining toilets in Fowey.

The town council feels raising that sort of sum from its precept, with only 1,700 Fowey residents eligible to pay council tax, is unrealistic.

With the Easter holiday period coming up next month, Fowey Town Council is hoping the situation can be resolved soon.

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