Dartmouth’s Public toilets to close if funds can’t be found
Local residents and visitors could face seeing their public loos closed for the winter in a major cost-cutting exercise aimed at saving South Hams Council more than £80,000 a year.
The toilets at Dartmouth Castle have already been earmarked for the four-month winter closure.
And village loos at Dittisham, Kingswear, Stoke Fleming and Stoke Gabriel are also on the hit list.
Local councillors have been asked to identify any of the town centre toilets in Dartmouth itself which could also be locked up for the winter.
The district council has said it was prepared to keep the loos open all year around if the parishes or towns were prepared to pay the running costs to keep them open during the four-month winter period.
Dartmouth town councillors plan to discuss the loo closure issue later this month.
Meanwhile, the district council has spelled out just exactly how much the town’s public loos are costing taxpayers.
Most expensive are the Royal Avenue Gardens toilets, which cost a whopping £52,000 a year to keep open.
The cheapest are the Manor Garden loos which cost £6,700 a year.
The toilets at Dartmouth Castle cost £14,000 a year which is more expensive that the park-and-ride toilets, at £13,000 and the Coronation Park loos at £8,800.
The district council aims to save £80,000 on the 48 public toilets it owns across the district – which is the equivalent of 1.5 per cent of the average council tax bill.
South Hams Council has claimed that the district currently provides more public loos per head of population than any other council in the country and keeps more of them open all year around than anywhere else in Devon.
The latest proposals would mean closing 31 of the toilets outside the main urban areas for the winter months.