Agreement reached in Dedham toilets row

Colchester Town Hall wanted to close the toilets if they were not taken over by the parish council.

Colchester Town Hall wanted to close the toilets if they were not taken over by the parish council. - Credit: Su Anderson

Public toilets look set to remain open in Dedham for another year after an agreement was brokered between two local authorities.

Colchester Borough Council (CBC) runs the facilities at The Drift, but had put forward proposals to transfer ownership to Dedham Parish Council.

However when the parish council said it could not afford to run the conveniences without putting up council tax the toilets looked set to close.

Village leaders said the toilets were mostly used by tourists, and were a key part of the draw for visitors to the area.

Now Tina Bourne, councillor for public protection at CBC, has reviewed the plans to stop maintenance – costing an estimated £10,000 per year – from April 1.

Instead the borough councill will contunue to run the toilets for the next financial year, allowing more time for both CBC and Dedham Parish Council to work out a way of funding the facility in the future.

Mrs Bourne said: “I am pleased we have reached an agreed position and look forward to continuing our discussions for the benefit of Dedham residents and visitors alike.”

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Sheila Beeton, chairman of Dedham Parish Council, added: “This review is welcomed by Dedham Parish Council and will be supported by our residents and many visitors to the parish.

“We will now seek to establish a long-term solution with the borough council.”

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