THE future of public toilets in the town has been thrown into confusion after claims that their future funding is uncertain.
InterPublic, the company which currently services the public toilets in Westbury and other Wiltshire towns, says that Wiltshire Council has cancelled their contract from 1st January 2012.
And they say that in a meeting with the council, it was confirmed to them that, “there is no budget for public toilet provision in Wiltshire going forward from April 2012, but at the same time [Wiltshire Council] Cabinet will not vote to the closure of the public toilet services in the immediate future.”
InterPublic say that the decision not to close the public toilets services is “a political one” and say they assume that the final decision will come after the May 2012 elections.
However, InterPublic say, “With no budget approved the outcome is surely not good.”
White Horse News contacted Wiltshire Council last week to ask for clarification of the situation, but were still waiting for a reply as we went to press.
Wiltshire Council currently operate the public toilets in the High Street, Warminster Road, and Westbury cemetery, which are serviced by the company InterPublic.
In the meantime, InterPublic have contacted local town councils themselves, including Westbury Town Council, requesting an early meeting to discuss the possibility of town councils co-operatively running the facilities themselves, with InterPublic having a contract to maintain, repair and clean the toilets.
Town councillor David Tout will represent Westbury Town Council at the meeting with Interpublic. Cllr Tout said, “What InterPublic have done is asked representatives of 12 councils to a meeting. Wiltshire Council seem to want to get rid of things that are costing money, and keep what has a revenue. But we never know where Wiltshire Council is going. Yet again, like the car parks, that sort of information will only come out when they want to give it to us.
“If we’re put in the position of taking on the toilets there’s definitely nothing in this year’s budget. I would expect the majority of the town councillors might not want to take the toilets on.”
But while InterPublic say that the future of who pays for the town’s facilities is uncertain, Westbury mayor, cllr David Windess, says he still expects Wiltshire Council to fund them.
“It’s still early days but we’re going back to Wiltshire Council and asking how much are they prepared to give us for us to do this. They can’t just turn around and say it’s down to you without giving us the funds to do it. I don’t think it should fall to the taxpayer of Westbury when they’re already paying [Wiltshire] Council for it.” However, cllr Windess said he did not want to speculate on what could happen if Wiltshire Council refuse to fund any part of the toilet maintenance costs.
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