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Overhaul of toilet facilities in Penzance after crunch talks with Cornwall Council.

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: May 23, 2013

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Penzance deputy mayor Councillor David Nebesnuick.

Penzance deputy mayor Councillor David Nebesnuick.

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A NUMBER of toilets in Penzance will be closed and others only open during the summer months in an overhaul of facilities.

The town council has been busily holding meetings with County Hall to thrash out what will happen to the toilets, after Cornwall Council announced it would be slashing toilet budgets.

Three will close, one will be taken over by Penzance Town Council and five will continue to be run from Truro. Some of these may charge users and others will only be fully open during the summer months.

"That is not bad from our point of view," said deputy mayor David Nebesnuick who has been involved in the talks.

"We wanted to make sure we got the best possible deal for the town. The best deal, of course, would be keeping them all open and refurbished but that really wasn't on the table."

After the crunch talks, it was decided that the town council would take on the freehold and management of the toilets at Wherrytown, which are well placed near the new skatepark and basketball court.

Those closing are in St Clare Street and Morrab Gardens, along with those in Jennings Street, which could be transferred for the use of the town's sea cadet troop.

The closures come as Cornwall Council attempts to halve its public toilet budget and save £1.5 million a year.

"The Morrab Garden toilets have been closed ever since I have been here at Pengarth Day Centre, which is four years," said Sharon Mitchell, manager of the venue.

"I think they had some problems with misuse. People do sometimes come and ask if they can use our toilet, especially in the summer.

"The gardens do need toilets but they should be properly supervised or else there will be a lot more misuse."

The facilities in Penalverne car park, near St John's Hall, will remain open but people could possibly be charged for using the service in the future. The super loos near the train station and toilets at South Pier will also stay open and could be chargeable.

Alexandra play park and Princess May Recreation Ground are also set to stay under Cornwall Council control, and be refurbished, but plans are to only open fully during peak summer months.

Arnaud Ruetsch, chairman of the Penzance and District Tourism Association, said he didn't think the changes would affect visitors.

"Having all the toilets open all year round would have been better but there aren't many people using them out of season," he said.

"It is better than having nothing.

"I can't see any problem with getting people to pay to use the toilets – you can't always expect nice, clean facilities that are free."

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2 comments

  • twofeetofsnow  |  May 29 2013, 9:53AM

    Well said. I bet the council still come round to repair and renew all the direction signs to public toilets, even after they're closed. I wonder what would be said if the majority of toilets in County Hall were closed and staff had to walk further to find facilities? Perhaps not spending so much on St John's Hall would give the town council more money to keep tourists coming to Penzance, better facilities are what people need, not another building facelift that the taxpayers of Penzance haven't asked for and I would suspect don't want.

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  • wringer  |  May 23 2013, 1:46PM

    So the council are closing toilets to save £1.5m which is half what they subsidise the airport for every year. How many people use the public toilets in relation to the number of council tax payers that use the airport. ask Cornish people what they want - airport or toilets. of course no one will because they already know the answer.

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