Public conveniences in Bexhill – RDC statement

We are currently in discussion with Bexhill-on-Sea Town Council about them taking on the provision and management of public conveniences in the town.

Like many local issues, this has prompted some comments on social media about this plan and whilst we welcome all opinions, there has been some inaccuracies we thought it would be helpful to clear up.

Since the early 70s, we’ve been providing public conveniences (and other discretionary services) for Bexhill-on-sea and across parts of Rother.

As part of national guidelines, we’ve been devolving services to our parishes and towns for many years. However, as Bexhill didn’t have a Town Council until recently, we’ve been the sole provider of services to the town, with the costs shared amongst all Rother residents.

Now Bexhill-on-sea has its own town council it is right that some services provided by the district are passed to them.

There have been some comments that passing services to the Town Council would result in ‘double taxation.’ This isn’t the case as once the services are transferred; we will stop paying, and also stop collecting council tax to run them. The Town Council will take over collecting council tax to run that service.

At its last meeting, the Town Council agreed to continue with lease negotiations (for the devolvement of the public conveniences) and that the final decision will be taken in March.

But in order for any transfer of service to happen, certain legal actions must be carried out.

One of these is disposal notices – which are needed if a public convenience building has any adjoining land. This might be a small garden area or a space just big enough for an access ramp for wheelchair users. Some, but not all, of the 14 public conveniences have adjoining land and are therefore listed in the disposal notice which was published last week.

Finally, we have a duty to our council taxpayers to manage our finances and protect services in the best way we can. We have a record of sound financial management – even in the face of years of Government budget reductions and increasing cost pressures – and we want to protect discretionary services such as public conveniences. But the ongoing financial pressures mean that we are looking to the Town Council to take these on in Bexhill and protect them from closure.

For more information on the disposal of open space land process, including information such as descriptions, schedule of public open space land and how to object/comment on the proposals – please visit the Public Conveniences (Various) in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex webpage

Published: 23rd January 2023

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