Open date for toilets pushed back due to cleaning issue

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Rothbury’s parish councillors have pushed back the open date for a public toilet ‘in the interests of fairness’ after only receiving one private quote by cleaners to run them.

The council had received a quote of £11.20 per hour from a local cleaners to see if it was a cheaper alternative than Northumberland County Council.

Chairman Mark Gilson explained to the council that he had spoken to Wooler Parish Council to find out how it pays its cleaner.

He was told they pay ‘absolute minimum wage’ and approached the cleaner with a similar offer.

Coun Gilson told members that the provider had given them a price and they could either ‘take it or leave it’ as they are a professional cleaning service.

Coun Gilson said that the costs included a wide range of services including replenishment of toilet roll etc.

Coun Debbie Noble said: “Personally, I think it seems very reasonable, but I do think we should ask a couple other people, just so we have a fair comparison.”

Coun Helen Walklett added: “We need three [quotes] and I think that will make it hard to open on April 2, because we don’t meet again before then.”

The parish council would have to vote in the next meeting on April 8 before agreeing on when to open the toliets. April was the preferred open date for the council as it would mean the site would be open throughout Easter.