Village could get its toilets back
By Sarah ChambersVILLAGERS are hoping their public toilets will be reopened after “overwhelming” public support for keeping them.Cash-strapped Mid Suffolk District Council said it could no longer afford the costs involved in keeping some of its public toilets open.
By Sarah Chambers
VILLAGERS are hoping their public toilets will be reopened after “overwhelming” public support for keeping them.
Cash-strapped Mid Suffolk District Council said it could no longer afford the costs involved in keeping some of its public toilets open.
The toilets under threat included those in Back Lane, Debenham, and they closed at the end of the financial year for a trial three-month period.
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Mid Suffolk District Council said parish councils would need to decide whether to bear the various costs - including electricity, cleaning, materials, rates and maintenance - by taking over responsibility for the toilets.
A working party set up by Debenham Parish Council is now looking at reopening the toilets before the end of June.
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Parish councillor Mary Bloom, who is on the working party, said: “It's trying to get some finance in place because this first year we have not written an amount into the precept.
“The feedback is that everybody wants them to be reopened and they were better used than we supposed. A place the size of Debenham needs them.”
Debenham district and parish councillor, Eddie Alcock, added: “There does appear to be a pretty strong view they are a facility we need to retain.”
Gerry Baxter, co-ordinator of the Debenham Street Fair, which takes place on June 20, said the toilets were an important facility for the village.
He is in talks with the district council about the possibility of reopening them during the fair if plans to reopen them permanently falls through.
“I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they can open them. How can you encourage tourism when you close down the basic facilities?” said Mr Baxter.