Petition launched to save toilets in Long Stratton
A parish council which twice turned down approaches to take over public toilets has now launched a petition to save them.
But the council at Long Stratton looks to have left it too late – the district council is sticking with plans to remodel the toilet block.
Steve Adcock, parish council chairman, said a government change on business rates would save it £1,800 a year, which made a difference to the figures.
The council also had a full-time maintenance employee which it did not have when it first turned down the approach from South Norfolk Council.
He said the district council was “short-sighted” if it would not open negotiations.
The parish council is also appealing to South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon for support, arguing that the one unisex toilet which will be provided when the toilet block is converted was inadequate.
“The toilets are currently used by the elderly, young mums with infants on school runs, coach trips, bus drivers and all those in between,” the council argues.
It added that the toilets in the district council offices, which South Norfolk says are an alternative to the car park toilets, were not perceived as central or open to the public.
South Norfolk councillor Keith Kiddie, said there were limits on how much the district council could raise its tax, and it approached parishes about taking over public toilets.
After “lengthy discussions and considerable time”, Long Stratton was the only parish to refuse.
The district council, therefore, came up with the “innovative initiative” of dividing the toilet block into two small retail units and a unisex toilet, which removed a cost from taxpayers.
He added that, as well as the council office toilets, the leisure centre toilets were available to the public in opening hours.