Rother District Council Statement on the devolvement of public conveniences to Bexhill-on-Sea Town Council

Ongoing financial pressures has meant that Rother District Council has had to consider alternative ways of providing discretionary services like public conveniences. This includes working with Town and Parish Councils across the District to devolve the running of toilets to protect them from possible closure. Since May last year, Rother District Council has been in discussions with Bexhill-on-Sea Town Council about how best to protect the provision of public conveniences in the town. Rother District Council committed £218,000 of Community Infrastructure Levy funds to the Town Council if they took on the running of the 14 toilets in Bexhill to ensure improvements to facilities could be made.

Following several deferred decisions, the Town Council was due to make a final decision about taking on the running of the public conveniences on the 8th March. However, despite a decision earlier in the year to increase council tax levels to cover the costs of taking on the toilets, the Town Council deferred the decision again until after the local elections in May.  

Cllr Susan Prochak, Deputy Leader of Rother District Council, said: “We recognise that we have a duty to our council taxpayers to manage our finances and protect services in the best way we can. The ‘Big Survey 2021’, undertaken by the Town Council, flagged improving public toilets as a key priority for residents. It is, therefore, hugely disappointing that Bexhill-on Sea Town Council has failed to make a timely decision on the running of toilets leaving the issue in limbo. This indecision not only adds to the financial pressures on the District Council but also creates uncertainty and cost to Bexhill residents. We will now progress discussions with community groups about devolving public conveniences to them and consider options on the future provision of toilets in Bexhill in line with our Protecting Discretionary Services Strategy. Any proposals put forward would be the subject of public consultation.”

Published: 22nd March 2023

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