A LAST-DITCH attempt to reopen a set of public toilets in Weymouth has been refused.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council rejected a proposal to reconsider the decision to close the public toilets in Littlemoor’s shopping precinct.

Terry Butcher, who launched a campaign to re-open the facilities, spoke at the meeting of the full council.

He said: “1,650 people signed the petition to save Littlemoor’s toilets, so surely the final decision should have been made by the full council, not the management committee.

“More time was taken to discuss dogs than these toilets and not enough debate was given to this issue.

“With the new road going through the area there are more people coming to Littlemoor than before and we need these public toilets more than ever.”

Despite collecting more than 1,000 signatures on the petition, the management committee voted against keeping the toilets open at a meeting last month.

Instead they plan to sell the tiny building to fund refurbishment to the toilets in town.

Councillors were divided on the issue and whether the decision-making process had been properly followed at the full council meeting.

Speaking at the meeting Councillor Kate Wheller said: “An equalities impact assessment was called for and said that the toilets required alterations to bring them up to standard, but what facilities don’t need maintenance and improvement.

“I think the decision to close them was faulty and we should look at this again.”

Speaking after the meeting Coun Wheller said: “I disagree with the decision that was made and I will not just be letting this drop.”

Littlemoor Councillor Mark Tewkesbury said: “Can we please have it clarified on whether procedure was followed on the toilets?

“There were 1,600 signatures on the petition and I think we would look at it on those sheer numbers alone.”

There were also concerns raised about lack of funding to refurbish Littlemoor’s toilets.

Councillor Kevin Hodder said: “I commend Mr Butcher and the other residents who were fighting for that campaign but unless and until we can find other sources of income to fund it, we can’t debate re-opening.”

candidate backs campaign

Rachel Rogers, who will be standing as Littlemoor councillor at the next election, supports the campaign to save the toilets.

She said: “I don’t think the decision was properly made so I will be writing to the council and they will refer it to the scrutiny committee for consideration, hopefully in time for their next meeting on February 16. At the end of the day that shopping centre was built with a toilet, that’s why there isn’t one in the supermarket.

“And if there was a need for it then, there’s even more of a need now – it’s a basic public facility.”

Mr Butcher said: “Hopefully with Rachel’s help we can get the council to see sense on this.”