Cumbria

Lake District public toilets may be sold to save money

Public toilet (generic)
Image caption South Lakeland Council is responsible for 39 public toilets

Council-owned public toilets in part of the Lake District may be sold off to private firms to save cash.

South Lakeland Council is considering introducing charges for the 39 toilets as a further option to cut costs.

The authority said it could no longer afford the £790,000 annual cost of maintaining the toilets in areas like Windermere, Ulverston and Kendal.

A recent public consultation saw more than 70% of those questioned back the introduction of charges.

Major upgrades

A council spokesman said: "We currently have 39 public toilets, which cost £790,000 every year to run, or over £16 for every household in the district funded entirely from council tax.

"Costs have spiralled upwards in recent years due to increased charges for water, electricity and fuel.

"The council receives no funding from the government to keep public toilets cleaned, maintained and open for use in one of Britain's most visited tourist areas, which significantly drives up the costs associated with the loss-making service.

"A report has also shown that some toilets are in urgent need of major upgrades to meet modern standards."

A final decision on how the council is to proceed will be taken later this year.

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