Ottery town council to spend pennies on closed toilets

TOWN cash will be splashed so Ottery residents and visitors can spend a penny at controversially closed public toilets

TOWN cash will be splashed so Ottery residents and visitors can spend a penny at controversially closed public toilets.

One shut loo at The Flexton will re-open following complaints and fears the town could be left without public conveniences.

Hygiene concerns have been voiced over Ottery's toilets situation come Tar Barrels night in November. Hind Street loos are expected to be demolished before Sainsbury's provides a new in-store facility.

Ottery town councillors last Monday unanimously backed proposals to utilise a disabled convenience at The Flexton as a unisex facility, and install a urinal and self-locking door at a cost of �500. Ladies and gentleman's toilets will remain closed.

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A private firm will clean the re-opened toilet daily for �3,000 a year

Ottery Parish Church, which is looking to install its own toilets, has offered �1,000 towards the maintenance cost.

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Councillors again called for East Devon District Council (EDDC) to invest cash, it will save by handing Hind Street toilets to Sainsbury's, in The Flexton.

The loos were shut suddenly last month after Ottery town council was lumped with a cleaning bill that was double what had been budgeted for.

The council claims EDDC's demand to maintain the town-owned toilets would have cost around �12,500, 10per cent of its entire annual budget. �5,000 had been set aside.

The situation was last week branded "appalling" and "ridiculous" by townsfolk who feared church visitors and the elderly would be hardest hit.

Mayor Glyn Dobson said the �12,500 cash demand was "killing" the council. The full Flexton facility was branded "very expensive and under-used."

"Get the disabled one open as soon as possible," said Cllr Tony Abbott.

"A lot of us didn't want to see the toilets close," added Cllr George Hansford.

Cllr Roger Giles had public health and hygiene worries over the town's landmark night of fun. "The prospect of having Tar Barrels and no toilets on the evening is awful," he said, "someone will have to spend a lot of money cleaning up afterwards."

When open, Sainsbury's in-store toilets will be available for use longer than Hind Street loos currently are.

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