Council urged to reconsider public toilet closures

A number of residents and visitors have challenged Arun District Councils proposal to close the public toilets. ks16000917-1 SUS-160828-094101008
A number of residents and visitors have challenged Arun District Councils proposal to close the public toilets. ks16000917-1 SUS-160828-094101008

Scores of Ferring residents have expressed their opinions over Arun District Council’s proposal to close two public toilets.

More than 120 residents filled the Glebelands centre in Ferring to question Arun District Council on the potential closure.

Arun has proposed to close these toilets as part of a drive to save £4million by 2020.

The toilets are located at the village green and the Rife near the Bluebird cafe.

In order to decide which toilets were to be closed, the council scored each public toilet under categories including disabled access, blue flag beach, visitor attraction, shopping access, green space and transport not including buses.

Arun District Council was urged to consult with parishes, following the release of a report proposing the closure of non-priority toilets.

Arun cabinet member, Paul Dendle, was at the consultation last Tuesday and said: “I felt I had to attend to tell the people of Ferring our views and it was important to hear the views of the residents.

“I believe the best option is to pass ownership of the toilets to the parish council which will result in an extra 20p a week, £10 a year per household.

“It is a price worth paying.

“Arun District Council is looking to improve the most-used toilets and save £150,000 a year with these closures.”

Councillor Colin Oliver-Redgate criticised the plans as he said: “I feel the points system is unfair when considering the public conveniences in Ferring.

“The bus loads of people that we get coming through the village demand that we need these two toilets.

“If these toilets are removed then I would have no idea where the nearest ones are.

“Closing two in the area looks like they are singling us out.”

Councillor Roger Elkins added: “Ferring has the highest proportion of over 80s in the country so it’s not fair on those people who risk being caught short when they are out for a walk.

“As a result, people will be forced to stay in their homes.

“We welcome dozens of children to the park each day during the summer holidays and it’s not fair to expect them to crouch behind a bush because there are no public toilets.”

David Bettiss, chairman of Ferring conservation group, supported Ferring’s residents.

He said: “These proposals would cause serious public health consequences for both residents and our visitors.

“We hope that Paul Dendle took the message from Ferring that we are angry and will not accept our toilets being knocked down.”

Ferring Parish Council has devised a questionnaire to gauge local opinions and provide some evidence to Arun’s officers.

Ferring residents can complete this questionnaire and return it to the Parish Office by the end of Wednesday (August 31).

Copies are available from the Parish Office in electronic form by e-mailing ferring-pc@btconnect.com, or via their website – www.arun.gov.uk/ferring.

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