Future of Marazion's public toilets is debated
A MEETING in Marazion has discussed options to save the town's public toilets from permanent closure.
In the packed town hall, Cornwall Council leader John Pollard and Marazion Town Council members answer questions about the closure.
Cornwall Council closed many public conveniences around the county in April, including two in Marazion.
Residents wanted to know the criteria behind the decision to close the toilets in Marazion Square, leaving the town with the Folly Field conveniences, only open at weekends in the winter.
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Two thousand business- owners, residents and holidaymakers have signed a petition which was presented to Mr Pollard at the meeting.
Karen Harding, a shop- owner in Marazion, said: "During the summer, at least five times a day people asked for the toilets and I had to send them all the way to Folly Field – elderly people and people with children. I was embarrassed.
"We're trying to welcome people to our beautiful town. For businesses, it's a struggle as it is; if we're turning people away we're terrified they won't want to walk back again."
Mr Pollard said the council had been working with town and parish councils towards finding solutions to the problems of providing toilets.
"This process with parish councils has been going on for 18 months," he said. "I'm sure we can find solutions and help, as that's what we have been doing across Cornwall.
"The council can give the freehold of the toilets to the town; they can do what they like with them. That's an opportunity for you.
"The fact is we haven't got the money to do everything we used to do. It's not going to get better; it's going to get worse."
The council could provide a grant of £11,347, guaranteed for one year, which was the cost of keeping the Folly Field toilets open, he said.
This sum could be divided, with some being spent on reopening the conveniences in Marazion Square and the town council having to find the remainder of the costs.
Marazion's mayor Derek Laity said: "It's very unusual for a town of this size to have such a low [council tax] precept. We would have to increase it quite a bit.
"There'll be people saying, 'We don't use the toilets; why should we pay for them?' No one wants to see them closed, but we have to work within the budget we have."
The St Aubyn Estate has said it is willing to work with the town council and chamber of commerce to help preserve the toilets, and the town council is now discussing its options.