Fowey toilets will be taken on by town council
FOWEY'S public toilets look to have won a reprieve from closure after the town council agreed to take them on.
The town's public conveniences were named on Cornwall Council's hit list of sites that could be closed, as part of measures to cut costs.
However, Fowey Town Council has reluctantly agreed to take on their upkeep – but has criticised the lack of notice given by Cornwall Council with just 19 days given to respond.
A spokesman for Fowey Town Council said: "Members are aware that Fowey has a disproportionate number of toilets in relation to the population and are extremely concerned about the cost of taking over the facilities.
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"However, the loss of the toilets cannot be contemplated and, given the short timescales allowed by Cornwall Council, members considered that they had no option but to indicate their acceptance of the offer."
The town council first received a letter from Cornwall councillor, Bert Biscoe, the portfolio holder for transport, highways and environment, on February 6, offering the freehold transfer of the toilets in Fowey and stating that toilets which are not devolved will be at risk of closure.
The move placed Fowey Town Council in a situation of having to agree to either take on the added costs of running of the town's public toilets or face losing them altogether – with a response needed by February 25.
In the future Fowey Town Council said it will be circulating a questionnaire to all the households and businesses in Fowey in order to ascertain if parishioners want the council to progress not only this transfer but also the freehold transfer of Squires Field and the Squires Field car park, which has also been offered.
Cornwall Council have stated that due to significant financial pressure, with the government grant reduced, income affected by the recession and the capping of council tax they believe the best way forward in terms of running Cornwall's public conveniences is for the communities in which they are situated to take them over.
Mr Biscoe said: "Cornwall Council has been discussing devolution of public conveniences for some time and over 100 are in process.
"I have been working with Mr Pollard, portfolio holder for localism, to convey as many toilets as possible before the end of the financial year.
"With March 31st looming it is time to take stock, to see how many are to be devolved or restored, how many are to be kept open, some on a seasonal or part-time basis, and how many will close," added Mr Biscoe.