Camborne town centre toilets U-turn?
CAMBORNE'S parks, recreation ground and library could be under threat if it is forced to take over town centre toilets, a meeting heard.
The town council has been urged to reverse its recent decision not to take over Gurney's Lane public conveniences.
Members agreed to take over the running of Rosewarne car park and Camborne Recreation Ground toilets from Cornwall Council but said it could not afford to keep Gurney's Lane toilets open after April 1.
The yearly running and management cost of the first two toilets is estimated at £18,000, while Gurney's Lane toilets are estimated to cost £20,000.
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On Thursday night Camborne Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District (BID) and the Regeneration Forum urged the council to reverse "this perverse and short-sighted decision".
BID chairman George Le Hunt said: "It is ridiculous to close these toilets. This is a huge opportunity for the council to get some good deals on cleaning if you spoke to other parishes."
Mebyon Kernow councillors Mike Champion and Stuart Cullimore, who failed to attend the meeting when the closure decision was made, said they wanted to rescind it.
Mr Cullimore said: "It is a long way to walk to the car park if you want to use the toilets.
"We should take them on and look at how we can do it. I am sure we could do it cheaper."
Councillor Jeff Collins suggested Camborne Chamber of Commerce could sponsor the toilets, adding: "It would be handy if the chamber put its money where its mouth is. The chamber, BID and the Regeneration Forum are all jumping on the bandwagon saying this and that, it's a pity they want to leave it with us."
During the debate, for the first time in a decade, mayor Jean Charman used a rule requiring members to be seated and silent. She also said a recent letter from Cornwall Council Cabinet member Bert Biscoe implied it intended closing the toilets.
She said: "Those who will be voting to rescind at the next meeting need to understand by making this decision we could lose funding for the refurbishment on the two toilets we elected to keep. Any funding to refurbish Gurney's Lane is now in doubt.
"The upkeep of the three toilets would cost Camborne Town Council approximately £40,000. This would leave us in the position of not being able to pay for other services that Cornwall Council may not be funding such as the parks, recreation ground and the library.
"It could be that in the near future we have to fund the library, what do people in the town want – Gurney's Lane toilets or the library?"
See page 45 for more about public toilets.