Powys public toilets to be handed over to save £980,000

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Nearly 40 council-owned public toilets in Powys could close if businesses or community organisations fail to step in to run them.

Powys council estimates it could save £980,000 a year in running costs if it hands the lavatories over to someone else to run them.

People interested in managing the toilets must contact the authority by October or it said it would close them.

The decision is part of council plans to save £35m over the next three years.

The county has a total of 67 public toilets - some owned and operated by Welsh government, others run by community groups including town and community councils, while 38 are owned by the local authority.

Start Quote

If community groups are not interested in managing the facilities then unfortunately the council will be forced to close them at the end of October”

End Quote Councillor Barry Thomas Powys council

In addition, there are 30 private toilets run by businesses in Powys, such as cafes, which are open to the public. They are funded by a Welsh government community toilet grant scheme.

Councillor Barry Thomas, who is responsible for the environment on Powys council's cabinet, said it had transferred public toilets to community groups in the past.

He said the authority was looking to extend the scheme for the remaining 38 toilets directly managed by the county council.

Grants

"Groups taking on the facilities would receive a council grant for the service," he added.

"If community groups are not interested in managing the facilities then unfortunately the council will be forced to close them at the end of October.

"If there is no interest after that date the facilities will be declared surplus by March 2014."

In June, Pembrokeshire council said it had launched a review of 28 of 93 toilet blocks, saying it could save £135,000 a year if they were handed over to someone else to run, or otherwise closed.

Other councils in Wales have also looked closing public toilets as part of cost-cutting measures.

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