By Ewan Foskett
Friday, March 30, 2012
TOILETS facing closure after being deemed surplus to requirements have been saved and will be run by Royston Town Council – for the next three years at least.
The authority will take over the facilities on The Cross from April 1 after negotiating a deal with North Herts District Council.
District councillors voted in favour of cutting the facility in a bid to save cash while the award winning Fish Hill toilets were retained.
John Robinson, NHDC’s Strategic Director of Customer Services, said: “We have been working closely with Royston Town Council and a number of other organisations over the last year, in accordance with a decision of full council regarding toilet provision across the district.
“We are pleased that the Town Council will be able to take over the toilet facilities at Royston Cross and we will be handing over the management of the toilets to them on April 1.”
Royston Town Council announced the move at Monday night’s meeting of the finance committee.
The original agreement would have seen the town council take on the facilities for five years but a three-year deal was settled as the district council will completely withdraw subsidies after three years on a gradual process.
Town council leader Robert Smith said: “We approached NHDC to show an interest. The first plan wanted a five year contract but we feel a three year contract with a six month notice from either party to terminate was more reasonable and they have taken it.”
A precept rise of roughly 3p a week for a Band D property will pay for the £8,000 required to pay for the toilets with NHDC spending £8,000 this year.
In years two and three the amount the district pay will drop to £4,000 and then £2,000.
Vandals this week targeted the high-tech toilets at Fish Hill.