Royston residents may spend 3p a week to spend a penny

ROYSTON residents are being asked to spend 7p a week so they can spend a penny.

The council tax hike was rubberstamped by Royston Town Council this week to pay for The Cross toilets, deemed surplus to requirements for Royston by North Herts District Council.

It is expected Band D properties will have to pay 3p a week for the facilities.

An increase of 4p was already due to be implemented this year, regardless of the proposed toilet provision.

The move was made at Monday night’s full council meeting, but the increase hinges on the findings of a public consultation, which will ultimately decide if the increase is taken up.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Robert Smith, said: “NHDC has decided to close the toilets on April 1 because they are going through a cost saving exercise. They have a statutory requirement to provide one site of public conveniences in the town, which is at Fish Hill.

“The ones at The Cross were deemed surplus to requirements and we are aware of the feelings of the public on these toilets.”

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The move was voted through unanimously and it is estimated the cost of running the toilets will set the town council back �8,000 per annum for three years as the district has offered the council a discount.

However after that the cost jumps to �16,000.

A council spokesman said: “We took the decision last year to close the toilets at Royston Cross unless another organisation came forward to take over the running of them.

“We are aware that Royston Town Council has expressed an interest in taking over the toilets.

“How they will finance this is a matter for the town council.

“We would like to reassure residents that NHDC will still be maintaining a level of public toilet provision in Royston.”