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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Council chief says 'no decision has been taken' on public toilet issue

* Paul Jackson, Head of Highways & Environmental Services.

A senior county council officer has stressed that no decision on whether Denbighshire should off-load the running of all its public toilets has been taken.

And in an email to Clwyd South Senedd Member Ken Skates, Paul Jackson, Head of Highways & Environmental Services, also takes a swipe at the "ill-informed, and factually incorrect" way the issue has been presented so far on social media and the local press.

Denbighshire is proposing to rid itself of all the county’s 20 public conveniences in a bid to ease its under-pressure budget to the tune of around £200,000 a year.

Pointing out that it doesn’t have a legal duty to provide toilets, it has suggested that they could be taken over by town and community councils. It is also aiming to promote a scheme under which businesses are paid a small sum each year to allow the public to use their toilets.

Over the weekend the proposal’s affect on the public loos in Market Street sparked a barrage of angry criticism on social media and the beginnings of campaigns to save them.

Mr Skates wrote to council chief executive Graham Boase to request the authority takes another look at the proposal.

And he has given llanblogger sight of the reply he received from Mr Jackson who says: "I’m writing in response to your query to Graham about the closure of the Llangollen public conveniences.  There’s been quite a bit of information posted on social media and in the local press and a lot of it is sadly, ill-informed, and factually incorrect.

"The truth of the matter is that Denbighshire Council are working hard to deal with a significant budget deficit for the forthcoming year.  As part of this a whole raft of measures are being considered and undertaken to make ends meet. This includes considering ceasing the operation of the Public Conveniences (PCs) within the County. 

"It is important to stress that no decision on this matter has been taken and our officers are working through the options based on cost, need, footfall for the area the PCs are located and the revenue they generate.  We’ve contacted City, Town and Community Councils to discuss with them the options and where possible are proactively seeking alternative arrangements to keep the PCs operating but at zero cost to the Council. 

"Again, no decision has been made and we will absolutely ensure that we engage fully and openly with local members and Community Councils to maintain transparency of communications and ensure local residents get the whole truth, not just partial information via social media posts." 

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