Abergavenny council to discuss loo refurb concerns
7:11pm Friday 13th September 2013 in Monmouthshire news
ABERGAVENNY Town Council will discuss concerns about the delay and rising cost of refurbishing its town centre toilets.
Monmouthshire council closed three of its 29 toilets and transferred seven to town or community councils and private bodies in 2011, following a review to save more than £180,000 a year.
The review was carried out by a working group amid concerns about the condition and cost of the toilets.
The Whitehorse Lane toilet block was among those facing closure because of their poor state and the cost of bringing them up to standard. However the town council felt it should remain open as it is on a main pedestrian route and used by 5,500 people per week.
One of the problems was the offensive smell from the gents toilets which was the result of a drainage problem. This has now been repaired by the county council which has reconnected the drains and has improved the situation.
The town council has yet to decide whether to take over the management of the toilets but has agreed to pay £9,000 a year towards the running costs and initially agreed to contribute up to £30,000 towards refurbishment, with the county council matching this figure.
In its agenda for the next meeting, the council's clerk Peter Johns explained that a scheme for the refurbishment was drawn up and put out to tender, but the figures were far in excess of the funds available. He said the town council agreed to increase its share of the cost to £40,000 and then again to £49,000 following a bid by Monmouthshire Housing which would use an in-house team to carry out the work.
The £49,000 includes money set into the budget for other contributions to toilets, assuming that the town council will take over the running of them, but the cost has risen by another £3,500.
Councillors will meet in the council chamber at the town hall today to discuss whether the town council should continue to support the scheme and carry out the refurbishment or leave it to Monmouthshire council to make its own decisions.
In Abergavenny, the bus station toilets and Castle Street toilets are still maintained by the county council. The toilets in Bailey Park are opened by the town council during events and a new toilet block was built on Brewery Yard.
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