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Southwold toilet block may reopen

PUBLISHED: 08:59 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:48 06 July 2010

AFTER a sunny Bank Holiday weekend with visitors queuing to spend a penny, hopes have been raised that a well-used toilet block on Southwold seafront could reopen.

AFTER a sunny Bank Holiday weekend with visitors queuing to spend a penny, hopes have been raised that a well-used toilet block on Southwold seafront could reopen.

Waveney District Council decided last summer that the toilets at Kilcock Cliff, in the middle of the promenade, would be closed at the end of the holiday season.

Southwold Town Council initially considered paying to take over the block, but members decided they could not commit because they did not know how much they would cost to repair and maintain.

Now the town council has been told that it would have to pay £5,000 to open the toilets for the rest of the summer, and another £10,000 to open them again next year.

Representatives from both authorities met last week to discuss the possibility of getting the facilities open again for the busy holiday season.

Speaking at a meeting of the town council on Tuesday night, district and town councillor Simon Tobin said: “Obviously this is an on-going exercise to reduce various facilities, but sometimes decisions are made which do not work.”

He added: “We explained that it has had a massive impact already and the three main pubs in town are having a lot of people going in to use their toilets.”

Many of the town's beach hut owners have already complained about the closure, and over the sunny Bank Holiday weekend there were queues of people waiting to use the nearest alternative toilets at Church Green.

The town council is now going to consider the full costs - including water, electricity, cleaning and necessary repairs - before making a decision on whether to pay for the toilets to be opened again.

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said: “The council took the decision to close a number of conveniences following a review of provision across the district. The outcome of that review included the closure of the facilities at Kilcock Cliff.

“As a consequence, and in line with the council's decision, no provision has been made in this year's budget for opening the facilities.

“We have informed the representatives of Southwold Town Council that it would cost roughly £10,000 per year to open the Kilcock Cliff toilets, and approximately £5,000 to open them until the end of October this year. The councils are working together to find an acceptable longer-term solution.”

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