1,000 sign petition on closure of public loo

The Dinkum Public House in Polegate. Landlady Tara Whyte and Landlord Pete (Paddy) McGuinness protest about the proposal to ask businesses to allow the public to use their WCs when the public conveniences close. March 11th 2013 E11043P
The Dinkum Public House in Polegate. Landlady Tara Whyte and Landlord Pete (Paddy) McGuinness protest about the proposal to ask businesses to allow the public to use their WCs when the public conveniences close. March 11th 2013 E11043P

A petition over the possible closure of Polegate’s public toilets has gained more than 1,000 signatures.

Worried residents have been signing the document after learning that the facility in the town’s High Street will go if a Community Toilet Scheme goes ahead.

A review is underway of all the public toilets across the district and if the scheme is introduced it involves businesses in the area providing such facilities instead.

If this happens then the public toilets in the town’s High Street would close.

Last week Polegate Town Council (PTC), who is keen for the public toilets to remain open, met last week to discuss the issue.

It has been looking at ways that the facility could be kept open.

A representative for Polegate Town Council said, “The town council deferred its decision on the toilets, pending a consultation with shop keepers over their willingness to join the Wealden run Community Toilet Scheme.

“The council discussed the ways forward should no shop keepers be willing to take part and should that be the case, to submit evidence alongside the petition with 1,083 signatures against the closure to the district council.

“The town council agreed that everything possible should be done to keep the public toilets open.”

District councillor Rowena Moore, waste management portfolio holder, said, “Wealden District Council has a policy to provide public conveniences in key tourist locations, even though it has no formal obligation to provide public toilets.

“The council fully appreciates the need for community facilities and this has led to the development of the Community Toilet Scheme which is already successfully in place across the district.

“We have worked successfully with parish and town councils to provide Community Toilet Schemes in other villages and towns, where local businesses or other civic buildings receive a small annual payment in exchange for making their loos available to the public during their normal opening hours.

“These are generally more pleasant for people to use once they are familiar with the scheme.

“The council recognises the need for community facilities and no changes will be made until a suitable Community Toilet Scheme is in place in Polegate.”