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Deadlock between Fowey councillors and Cornwall Council in public toilets saga

By CG_Steve  |  Posted: March 11, 2014

Councillors John Berryman, Katherine Alexander and Ruth Finlay, beside the closed toilets at Caffa Mill, Fowey

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FOWEY councillors remain in deadlock with Cornwall Council over a deal to take over the town’s four public toilet blocks.

The town council is keen to run all the facilities – but is narked that the unitary authority has only offered a yearly maintenance grant of £26,000 when it estimates the bill could reach £50,000.

It has suggested Cornwall Council hands over the lucrative Caffa Mill car park so it can make up the short fall with income generated from pay and display machines.

Town councillors have even said they would hand back any extra profit to Cornwall Council.

But so far the two sides have failed to strike a deal, although Mayor John Berryman said on Monday that everyone was trying hard to find a solution to the impasse.

He told the Cornish Guardian it was vital the toilets were open in time for the summer season, as Fowey’s economy relied heavily on tourism.

“Discussions are still ongoing,” he said. “It’s difficult for Cornwall Council as they have to get over the prospect of signing away an income-making asset in Caffa Mill car park.

“We’ve said we will just take what we need in income and give them back what’s left. We haven’t had an answer on that yet but we’re trying hard to make it work.

“We are such a small community that relies heavily on tourism and need all the toilets open by summer. We are asking for extra consideration from Cornwall Council that we are a major tourist destination in the county and we need that extra bit of help. A decision needs to be made soon so we can get them up and running for summer.”

The town council agreed to take over responsibility for the toilets more than a year ago.

The four toilet blocks in question are the main car park, Town Quay, Readymoney and Caffa Mill. The Caffa Mill facilities have been closed for some time.

The authority has said it feels raising extra cash from its precept, with only 1,700 Fowey residents eligible to pay council tax, is unrealistic.

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  • josdave  |  March 11 2014, 2:43PM

    Typical. Cornwall Council passes the buck to the parish councils and does not help them to do the job. While wasting money on pet worthless projects and propping up private enterprises like the airport and Eden it cuts down on essential services. It'll be a surprise if any of them get re-elected.

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  • D-Head  |  March 11 2014, 2:05PM

    Penzance leads the way on public toilets. Most of them have now been closed and those that remain open would not be acceptable in the third world. Keep up the good work, Cornwall Council.

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  • John_Allman  |  March 11 2014, 11:22AM

    Fowey. Twin town: Clochemerle, France! http://tinyurl.com/om7vvjm