A PARISH council has been given the opportunity to take over the running of a village's public toilets – an asset that previously drew complaints from residents due to opening hours. It was revealed at Forsbrook Parish Council's recent monthly meeting that the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) has given the parish council two choices in regards to taking over the running of the public toilets which are located on Cheadle Road in Blythe Bridge. Parish councillor Tony Holmes said: “There are a couple of options we've been given. One is that we take on the toilets and the district council stay as site owner.
“The other option is that they will give us the toilets and also give us £19,000 a year to run them, with this reducing every year though this is negotiable.”
Mr Holmes said he was informed that the toilets cost circa £24,000 to run last year.
He went on to state that these were only provisional offers and it was suggested that the council ask for confirmation of these proposals in writing before making any official decision.
The parish council concurred with this although several members hinted that they believed the second option was more preferable.
The Times and Echo reported in August that the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council apologised to village residents after the public toilets frequently remained closed when they were scheduled to be open.
The water closets are supposed to be open from 8am to 6pm but they previously stayed shut for lengthy periods of the week, prompting complaints from members of the community.
When the Times and Echo wrote to the SMDC about the matter, a spokesperson from the
district council issued an apology, saying: “We apologise that this has not been the case (toilets open at correct times) and we are liaising with the contractors who are responsible for opening the toilets during these hours, and for cleaning them every day, to find out why they have been closed and to ensure they are open when they should be from now on.
“We will be monitoring the situation and carrying out spot-checks over the coming weeks.”
During Forsbrook Parish Council’s recent meeting, councillors noted that the toilets had since been open as per scheduled following the complaints that were made.
SMDC has confirmed that they are “talking to Forsbrook Parish Council about the future management and operation of the toilets.”
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