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Future of Marazion's public toilets is debated

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: December 17, 2013

  • Marazion Town Hall. Marazion?s Sub-Postmistress Jane McColl hands Cllr John Pollard the multi page petition against the closure of toilet facilities in Marazion. PZPM20131210J-002_C.jpg

  • Marazion Town Hall. Marazion?s Sub-Postmistress Jane McColl hands Cllr John Pollard the multi page petition against the closure of toilet facilities in Marazion. PZPM20131210J-003_C.jpg

  • Marazion's sub-postmistress Jane McColl hands Cornwall Council leader John Pollard a petition opposing the closure of its toilets.

Comments (4)

A MEETING in Marazion has discussed options to save the town's public toilets from permanent closure.

In the packed town hall, Cornwall Council leader John Pollard and Marazion Town Council members answer questions about the closure.

Cornwall Council closed many public conveniences around the county in April, including two in Marazion.

Residents wanted to know the criteria behind the decision to close the toilets in Marazion Square, leaving the town with the Folly Field conveniences, only open at weekends in the winter.

Two thousand business- owners, residents and holidaymakers have signed a petition which was presented to Mr Pollard at the meeting.

Karen Harding, a shop- owner in Marazion, said: "During the summer, at least five times a day people asked for the toilets and I had to send them all the way to Folly Field – elderly people and people with children. I was embarrassed.

"We're trying to welcome people to our beautiful town. For businesses, it's a struggle as it is; if we're turning people away we're terrified they won't want to walk back again."

Mr Pollard said the council had been working with town and parish councils towards finding solutions to the problems of providing toilets.

"This process with parish councils has been going on for 18 months," he said. "I'm sure we can find solutions and help, as that's what we have been doing across Cornwall.

"The council can give the freehold of the toilets to the town; they can do what they like with them. That's an opportunity for you.

"The fact is we haven't got the money to do everything we used to do. It's not going to get better; it's going to get worse."

The council could provide a grant of £11,347, guaranteed for one year, which was the cost of keeping the Folly Field toilets open, he said.

This sum could be divided, with some being spent on reopening the conveniences in Marazion Square and the town council having to find the remainder of the costs.

Marazion's mayor Derek Laity said: "It's very unusual for a town of this size to have such a low [council tax] precept. We would have to increase it quite a bit.

"There'll be people saying, 'We don't use the toilets; why should we pay for them?' No one wants to see them closed, but we have to work within the budget we have."

The St Aubyn Estate has said it is willing to work with the town council and chamber of commerce to help preserve the toilets, and the town council is now discussing its options.

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  • mikeyp58  |  December 18 2013, 12:07PM

    To Surfergirl, love your ideas, lol! To run a public loo is a pain and very expensive - in consumables, repair work etc. To pay staff to cover this work takes most of that expense. I understand where you come from regarding this but local councils tend to put public toilets low on their lists of priorities. Local businesses 'chipping in' would help and continue to bring tourism into the town. Although, I think a small Art Gallery in a public loo would be innovative and funky!! :-)

    Rate 0
  • Surfergirl  |  December 18 2013, 11:48AM

    In reply to mikeyp58. Making money is not really the point, making enough money to keep the loos open is all that is required. Yes people resent paying to use a loo but people resent paying for many things that ought to be free but aren't, car parking, tv licence, prescriptions fees, carehome fees etc. All the public loos in Marazion should be pay loos. If there are enough free alternatives provided by willing business owners, pubs, cafes etc, then Marazion doesn't have a loo problem, so it was the right decision to close them to save money. If there is a loo problem then charging a fee to use them which would keep them open and available is the only sensible option. I don't think adding a precept to local residents is right nor fair, perhaps the National Trust should chip in since most visitors will go to the Mount. A precept on entry tickets perhaps? Perhaps local businesses could provide some funding towards the costs? All options are available. If the loos are to remain closed, which would be a great shame, then they should be redeveloped as soon as possible so the building can continue to have a positive input to Marazion. I can imagine it being a fab little ice cream shop, tourist info centre, the world's smallest art gallery but probably best for it to remain as the place to go, in Marazion.

    Rate   1
  • mikeyp58  |  December 18 2013, 1:10AM

    In response to 'Surfergirl', paying to use the loo's would not make you that much money. I work as a toilet cleaner and clean/repair 6 locations a day. The 'easiest' to clean are the toilets where people are charged 20p to use the facilities. The 5 other sites I visit are free.They 'pay' site is hardly used and locals, ramblers etc tend to use the local pubs, instead. Quite simply, people will not pay 20p to use the loo. I clean in the morning (about 8am) and clean and close at night (about 8pm). They are rarely used. People resent having to pay.

    Rate   -1
  • Surfergirl  |  December 17 2013, 3:19PM

    Run properly the Marazion loos could make a profit over the summer. 30p a visit(minimum) is the cost of attended loos in other parts of the country. Hire a couple of loo attendants, make sure the loos are clean and well-stocked with consumables, charge 30p a visit: the loos would be one of the most welcome and visited businesses in Marazion.

    Rate   4