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Concerns raised over closure of public loos
RESIDENTS are kicking up a stink after the temporary closure of public toilets on the Jurassic Coast.
Signs have been put up at the block in Osmington Mills by West Dorset District Council directing people to use the facilities of The Smugglers Inn instead.
Mike Reid, chairman of Osmington Parish Council, claims the parish council was not consulted before the district took the decision.
He said: “There’s been no dialogue at all between the parish council and the district council on the matter.
“We are quite disappointed.
“At no point have they told us they were going to close them and at no point have they asked us if we would be willing to keep them open.”
Mr Reid said the toilets, which will be closed for 12 months, were ‘an important asset’ to the local community and were ‘well used’.
Local resident Kevan Sheehan said he was ‘disgusted and ashamed’ by the affair.
He said: “The whole thing stinks.
“We get coach loads of people from all over the world visiting here. They are all converging on a business that has two urinals.”
Mr Sheehan suggested some people were ignoring the new temporary facilities.
He said: “People have already been spotted going around the back of the lavatories to relieve themselves.”
The Smugglers Inn, operated by Hall and Woodhouse, will receive money from the council for the extra costs, which includes cleaning.
A spokeswoman for Hall and Woodhouse confirmed ‘a temporary agreement’ was in place but was unable to confirm how much would be received.
She added that the agreement was ‘able to be reviewed at any point’.
A district council spokesperson said: “Various stakeholders have been involved in discussions regarding the pilot scheme, including Hall and Woodhouse and ward councillors. District councillors discussed alternative ways of providing toilet facilities in Osmington at an executive committee in May 2012.
“Osmington Parish Council was also made aware of the possible trial at a parish council meeting in November 2012.”
West Dorset District Council leader Robert Gould said cuts in funding prompted ‘some very difficult decisions’ about how services would be delivered.
He said: “Between 2010/11 and 2015/16 West Dorset District Council’s government grant will reduce by 52.5 per cent or £4million.
“We have been trying out some changes at Osmington Mills as part of a pilot initiative.
“This arrangement has the potential to save council tax payers around £11,500 a year.”
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