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22 February 2011, 10:10
Plans have been announced to shut around 15 public toilets on the Isle of Wight, to save thousands of pounds.
There are 67 public toilets on the Isle of Wight. Following a consultation the council is now proposing to retain 40 facilities, of which six could be run by local organisations such as town and parish councils. This is more than the original proposals and includes facilities at Godshill and Compton Bay.
A further 12 that have been identified as surplus by the council may also be run by local organisations after the council received expressions of interest for them. This means there is potential for 52 public conveniences to continue to be provided on the Island.
The council is looking to reduce its spend on public toilets as it strives to save £18m over the next year. Under the proposals it will reduce the amount it spends on toilets to realise a saving of £100,000 in 2011/12, or a full year effect of £250,000 from 2013 onwards.
Edward Giles, Isle of Wight Council Cabinet member responsible for the environment said "Since the original plans were released, the council has received lots of interest in taking over the running of facilities from local organisations.
"After working closely with these groups, we are pleased to reveal these latest plans could see up to 52 facilities kept open including toilets in each of the Isle of Wight's most popular tourist areas, such as Sandown, Ryde, Shanklin and Newport.
"The council will now fully examine the expressions of interest we have received for the facilities that are currently earmarked for closure.
"It is important to stress that the council is dedicated to providing free-to-use public toilets on the Island and whatever happens, we would still have dozens of facilities available. Unlike many other areas similar to us, we are not looking at asking local businesses to open their facilities, nor are we looking at making our facilities chargeable."
Members of Isle of Wight Council's Cabinet will consider the latest proposals when they meet on Tuesday 1st March.