MONMOUTHSHIRE council is to continue subsidising town and community councils that took on the running of five public toilets in 2011.

The county decided to stop maintaining 14 of its 29 council-owned loos following a reviewon the provision of toilets in the county.

The report by a working group, set up in 2009 to review the provision of toilets in the county following concerns about their condition and cost, aimed to find the best way of providing them for people who live in and visit Monmouthshire.

Those earmarked for closure were offered to local town and community councils or businesses, reducing the cost of running public toilets in the county from £330,194 per year, which included water and electric costs, to £145,638.

County councillor Bryan Jones, the cabinet member for county operations, is due to make an individual cabinet member decision today to continue subsidising five toilets that are run by town and community councils for the next three years.

The grant of £1,200 per year towards the running costs is given to community councils in Caerwent, Gilwern, Grosmont and Goytre and town councils in Chepstow and Abergavenny.

Cllr Jones said his reasons for continuing to offer support are that the scheme has offered a cost effective arrangement to retain public toilets that would otherwise have been closed down and that there was a demonstrated willingness for the county council to work with community and town councils to retain services.

A budget of £1,200 per year would cost the county council £7,200 if all councils claim the subsidy.

Cllr Jones said: “We decided to continue offering the subsidy because in some cases we are asking the town and community councils to do other things with Monmouthshire council in continuing services.

“We felt it was only fair to continue doing this for the moment and not to force all the responsibility on them.”