TINTAGEL Parish Council chairman David Hodge says that ‘no decision has been made’ by the parish council as to whether they’re going to provide funding once more towards the public toilets at Trebarwith.
Locals were left shocked last month when Cornwall Council unexpectedly shut down the public toilets, leaving locals and business owners upset.
In response to this, an online petition was set up by local lady Cheryl Donald, which has garnered over 1,800 signatures, who along with a few others have set up the Trebarwith Toilets Community Consortium (TTCC) with the aim of reopening the toilets as soon as possible.
On the evening of June 6, they held their first informal meeting at The Strand Café in Trebarwith Strand, which attracted a large audience of between 70 and 80.
Such was the turnout, Tintagel Surf Life Saving Club chairman Les Freke had to open up the doors of the surf life saving club so that half could go in there where organiser Richard Hart could chat to them and discuss the relevant options.
Locals were given a form with three potential options of what they would like to see happen.
1. Cornwall Council retains control of the toilets and finances them with county funds;
2. Parish council takes on the lease of the toilets only and works closely with a Community Interest Group (sub-committee for the day-to-day running of the toilets and decision making) – the toilets would be financed by the parish council;
3. Set up the Trebarwith Toilets Community Consortium (TTCC).
The TTCC would be a registered charity with committee members and trustees. This would be a totally self-funding self-regulating body of local people and local businesses responsible for the toilets from Easter until October 31 under a short-term lease from Cornwall Council (contents only) – the building would still be owned and maintained by Cornwall Council. The TTCC estimates that with the toilets will cost £15,000 per annum and that it would look to raise money through sponsorship, advertising and donations.
Ms Donald led the discussion in the café with several ideas touted. However, she urged as many people to go to the parish council meeting at Social Hall, Tintagel the following evening.
There, in front of a crowd of 40 plus, an hour-long discussion was held with all parties giving their points of view in a lively debate.
Following the meeting, both sides gave contrasting opinions to the Post of how it went with Mr Hart, who also sits on the parish council, saying that the council is not willing to take the lease on while Mr Hodge said that no decision has been made and further discussions need to be had.
Mr Hart said: “The parish council are unwilling to take the lease on. We’re now in the process of forming a community consortium. Over 40 people turned up to support us which was great and the council justified their decision. Thankfully everything was orderly and members of the consortium, local businesses and locals gave their views while the parish council discussed the process.
“What we need now is to form a structured plan and work with Cornwall Council to provide a solution which is best for the toilets. We’ve had great support from locals, local businesses and even holiday-makers at both the discussion on Tuesday night and the parish council meeting on Wednesday so I’m confident that something can be agreed to keep the toilets open.”
Cllr Hodge was clear in that no decision has been made but revealed that Cllr Roger Wickett had also led his unwavering support in the bid to keep Trebarwith’s public toilets open.
Cllr Hodge said: “At the meeting we listened to the people and they heard the views of the council. All I can say at the moment is that two parish councillors, Cllr Richard Hart and Cllr Roger Wickett, have committed themselves to doing all they can to ensure that the toilets are re-opened.
“Tintagel Parish Council will hold another meeting and discuss what we believe is the right thing to do but like anything on the council, we need a proposal to be put forward so it can be voted on. However, no funding can be given until a majority verdict is voted by the councillors.”