Time to pull the chain on Crown Hill toilets

There has been a great deal of discussion about the public toilets across the Rochford District. It would appear that the district council didn’t have the financial acumen to make the maintenance of the toilets cost effective in the long term. So it has now successfully had the ‘deal’ waved (voted) through by Rayleigh Town Council to ‘offload’ the financial burden. (many members of the town council are portfolio holders for the district council too!)

With the only resistance coming from the opposition (Lib Dems and Rayleigh Independents) it would appear the Tories have managed to saddle the Town Council (and the tax payer) with a 10-year lease on the maintenance of a new block of unisex toilets next to the existing site. The costs to maintain this new block have been budgeted at £20k per year to maintain, although the council has not put the contract out to tender at the time of writing so, in fact, is unsure of costs!

I have expressed to the council that a break clause should be put in the contract to between RTC and RDC for the lease on these toilets. In a 10 year period, the shape of the high street can dramatically change. Will there be such a demand in 5 years for public toilets when they are not used for the night time economy?

I’m finding this deal very difficult to swallow knowing that the MAIN reason is so they (RDC) can shift this cost from their balance sheet onto the Town Council and the taxpayer is subject to possible further increases in council tax to pay for this facility.

Personally, I’d like to flush this whole idea down the pan – we will see whether this get’s past the investment board at their next meeting

 

About the author James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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