Poole's Baiter Park public toilets closure U-turn

Baiter Park toilets
Image caption Borough of Poole council closed the toilets at Baiter Park in April

Public toilets that were closed in a bid to save almost £20,000 are to be temporarily reopened.

Poole's Baiter Park facilities were closed by the borough council in April.

It said it was reopening the toilets "on a temporary basis" while a private provider is found to develop a new accessible toilet.

The news comes after campaigners said the area had become a "public health risk" as visitors were forced to urinate and defecate in nearby bushes.

Since then, Borough of Poole council has also come under fire after it provided a portable facility for travellers living on an illegal encampment on the park, as reported by the Bournemouth Echo.

Mike Randall, who campaigned to keep the toilets open, said he was "really thrilled" they were being reinstated "for visitors, for residents and for people's dignity".

The authority said it was reopening the conveniences "on the basis of enquiries from potential operators and experience of market sounding at other local sites there is a reasonable prospect that a commercial partner could be procured to develop a new concession in Baiter Park".

It also made a U-turn on its decision to shut down the facilities at Sandbanks Ferry in May to save £75,000 by reopening them for the summer period.

The council previously closed half of its public toilets to cut costs, and now maintains 16 facilities across Poole.

It said Baiter Park's toilets cost £19,700 to maintain in 2015-16.

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