CONWY'S cabinet has backed a toilet strategy that could see the county council ask town councils to pay for public toilets – if they want to keep them.

During the meeting at Bodlondeb, cabinet members backed the strategy which proposes ‘drastically reducing’ the number of toilets as one option as part of the cost-cutting exercise.

And leader Cllr Charlie McCoubrey said vandalism was a blight on public toilets before suggesting people should instead use facilities at supermarkets, rather than the whole cost fall on the taxpayer.

The move follows Conwy raising council tax by 9.9% last year and slashing council services by 10% across the board – with even schools being asked to reduce budgets by 5%.

The strategy proposes the council explores numerous options to reduce the cost and improve the quality of public facilities, which was backed by a scrutiny committee last week.


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These include transferring public toilets to local groups or town councils, opening existing council buildings and offices to the public, paying more local businesses to allow the public to use facilities, reviewing the charges for toilets, targeting grants, and drastically reducing the number of facilities.

Conwy County Council will now await correspondence from town councils to see if they will pay to keep public toilets open, following a public consultation ending last week.

Cabinet member for environment, roads, and facilities Cllr Goronwy Edwards proposed councillors backed the report.

“As part of this process, we’ve contacted all town and community councils now with what the expectations are,” he said.

“The request is from Conwy County (Council) to help mitigate some of the pressures that the services are under. That letter has now gone to all town and community councils, and also all members will have received a copy of that.”


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He added, “I think we can build on that and develop a strategy that will be fit for purpose.”

Cllr Chris Cater seconded the proposal. “I’m very happy to second Cllr Goronwy (Edwards). I really welcome the fact that the consultation process was prolonged, and it turned out to be very thorough in the end so that was really good,” he said.

“And we made sure that the town and community councils were involved in that. So that was important because one of the options is that they might contribute to keeping the toilet provision in their areas.

“Those letters went out last week, and we are waiting for the results of the debates they will have and how they will look at their own precept setting to see whether they want to support some of these commitments to keep these toilets open.”

Leader Cllr Charlie McCoubrey then added: “I think it is really important to recognise the blight of vandalism on our toilets and the cost – and putting the facilities out of order. We know that toilets within a building tend to suffer less vandalism.

“We are lucky enough in Abergele that we have Tesco open till 11pm or 12am most nights, which is clearly far later than our toilets are open.

“They are open. They are clean and tidy, and I invariably pick up some milk on the way home, so there are other facilities available, and we need to look to find solutions so that there is adequate provision so they are safe and clean and that people use them, but it shouldn’t necessarily all fall on the taxpayer, especially when there has been repeated anti-social behaviour.

"It is all about finding that balance.”