Reprieve for Polegate loos after talks

Public conveniences in Polegate. January 30th 2014 E04098Q
Public conveniences in Polegate. January 30th 2014 E04098Q

Polegate residents are feeling flush after months of talks saw a decision this week to keep the High Street’s public toilets open for the time being.

The controversial issue has been rumbling on for some time and stems from a review by Wealden District Council (WDC) to look at introducing a Community Toilet Scheme (CTS), where instead of public toilets being available, businesses provide facilities instead.

The matter was highlighted at a series of Polegate Town Council (PTC) meetings to discuss a way forward. It did not believe a CTS would work in the town and because WDC has withdrawn funding for the provision of the High Street toilets it has been looking at ways to keep them open for the community and visitors to the town.

On Monday PTC met again and with just weeks to go before WDC was set to close them the local authority in Polegate made the decision to run them for up to a year, with plans to negotiate with Wealden to look into purchasing them at a later date.

Although plans to buy the facility still need to be finalised PTC is hopeful this will happen.

A spokesperson for Polegate Town Council said, “The decision to buy will be welcome news to the 1,200 or so residents who signed a petition to keep the toilets open.”

It has previously discussed a series of options to look at ways to keep public toilets in the town centre and this included alternative toilets being installed on town council land.

A spokesman for Wealden District Council said that the community toilet schemes have been in operation in other Wealden towns for several years and provide an additional source of income to establishments who provide such services. Premises in areas including Hailsham and Herstmonceux have signed up to be part of the scheme.

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