Rising costs prompt Sidmouth council cash caution

PUBLISHED: 13:43 15 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:57 18 June 2010

WITH the rising cost of providing a toilet facility on Sidmouth seafront, town councillors will be more careful when considering making future commitments.

WITH the rising cost of providing a toilet facility on Sidmouth seafront, town councillors will be more careful when considering making future commitments.

On Monday, the council agreed to spend £1,200 on a stainless steel vandal-proof wash unit, instead of providing a cheaper ceramic hand basin at the new toilet being constructed at the Esplanade shelters.

They also heard maintenance of the toilet and adjoining shower would be in the region of £8,000 a year.

"I agree we should do it properly, it is a long needed facility," said Councillor Jeffery Turner, who has the responsibility of presenting the council's accounts each month.

"This is an example of how to be guarded in making commitments before we know the whole costs."

Because a quick decision had to be made, at the request of the architect, to enable work to continue, councillors had little time to consider alternatives.

Mr Turner, who thought some of the more scattered public toilets might be underused, said: "It prompts the whole issue of a review of public conveniences in the area."

Faced with the question of who could use the new toilet, it was finally decided to make it available for all, including disabled users, and contain baby-changing facilities.

Councillor John Dyson wondered if the council should consider making a charge for using the new facility, but Councillor Graham Liverton thought it might cost more to collect the money.

Councillor Ann Liverton said: "When you start providing something it is darned difficult to stop providing it. People will look upon it as their right. This is an extra facility to make good use of these shelters."

Signage will direct the public to nearby conveniences at The Triangle.


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