Council says it wants to cut pounds off the cost of spending a penny in Fenland

TOWN councils may be asked if they want to buy a public loo following proposals by Fenland District Council to drop from 11 to four the number they will pay to keep open.

The council has decided it wants to halt the spiralling costs of maintenance and repairs – currently running at around �130,000 a year.

Councillors have been briefed privately about the proposals and no decision is expected until this autumn but the council says providing loos are discretionary and not mandatory.

Cabinet was told only four public conveniences are likely to be maintained “and further work is to be undertaken to identify future management and disposal options for the remaining public conveniences that the council does not intend to operate.”

Those that will remain, however, will be refurbished, councillors were assured. A final decision is due in November with closures expected from January.

This will be the second time in five years the council has tried to close some of its public toilets. In 2006 the plans were shelved following a public outcry but last year the council again began looking at options.

Last year Councillor Ken Peachey reminded people that baby changing facilities are available in the council’s one stop shops.

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But he added that the suggested use of toilets in public houses “could be open to challenge.”