Denbighshire council could close all its public toilets in a bid to save money

  • Video report by ITV Wales reporter Rob Shelley.

All the public toilets in Denbighshire will close if the council's cost-cutting plans are approved later this year.

The council argues it faces "unprecedented" financial challenges, and hopes if the plans to shut public conveniences go ahead it will save more than £200,000.

However, the plans have been heavily criticised for the impact it could have on tourists, the elderly and disabled people.

As part of the plans, councillors hope smaller city, town & community councils will be able to foot the bill and keep the facilities open.

It's also been suggested that local businesses could open up their toilets, for a £500 payment.

As councils budgets get squeezed, council leaders are considering different ways to cut back on spending.

Denbighshire Council's newest plans could see the closure of all their public toilets, saving it more than £300,000.

Providing public conveniences is not a statutory requirement for local authorities, so Denbighshire council argue that many other councils have "reduced or ceased this service many years ago".

The proposal has been met with heavy criticism from people who are concerned about the impact toilet closures will have on tourist, the elderly and disabled people.

Gareth Parsons, the chair of Wales Senior Forum, said that the absence of toilets causes "panic, desperation, or distress" for elderly people.

Mr Parsons added, "people aren't going to go into town if they haven't got access to a toilet.

"Older people would be worried about going into a town if there isn't a toilet - certainly in an unfamiliar area".

On the streets of Rhyl, many people share these concerns. One man told ITV Wales, "it would be a disgrace - there should always be loos about".

Another shopper said, "I think it is disgusting, it's not a good idea at all. People with children need to go when they need to go!

"They shouldn't be putting it onto the shopkeepers."

As councils budgets get squeezed, council leaders are considering different ways to cut back on spending.

Denbighshire council said it has to cut costs to plug a gap of more than £10 million. It added, "we do not now have a big enough budget to enable us to keep delivering all of the services that we have always delivered in the past.

"We do not want Public Conveniences to close, but neither can we afford to continue spending roughly £300,000 per year to provide that service.

"We hope, in areas where the provision of Public Conveniences is considered to be absolutely essential, that City, Town & Community Councils may have the ability and appetite to provide that service instead."

Nothing has been decided yet, but the council's cabinet will reach its final decision later this year.

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