Parish council steps in to keep toilets open

Alnmouth public toilets
Alnmouth public toilets

The parish council has made a last-gasp decision to put up £2,000 to ensure the public toilets in Alnmouth remain open over the winter.

In last week’s Gazette, it was reported that Northumberland County Council had failed to reach agreement with the parish council, following its review of facilities across the county, which aimed to save £150,000 from its annual bill of around £600,000.

This meant that the toilets would have closed for winter and reopened next Easter, but, in response to public demand, the parish council has voted to reopen the public conveniences.

The parish council will have to pay the county council about £2,000 for the toilets to be kept open this winter and has had to increase its annual precept, which is added to the council tax paid by residents, by this amount.

The parish council’s chairman, Bill Bourne, said: “Alnmouth is increasingly popular throughout the year, not just in the very busy summer holiday season, and toilet facilities for walkers on the coastal path and for visitors to the beach are necessary throughout the year.

“The parish council feels that public toilets in small holiday villages are a vital tourist facility which should be maintained by the county council, not by the residents.

“However, there was so much adverse reaction to the closure that the parish council felt it had no option but to submit to the county council’s demand that the residents should make a contribution to the running costs.”