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Issue 340 – Town council to explore community toilet scheme

PUBS, cafes, shops and businesses could be asked if they will make their toilets available for public use. The idea has been considered at Frome Town Council, which has agreed to explore the potential of a community toilet scheme in the town.

The town council explained that the scheme could involve many different locations in the town. “Pubs, cafés, and public buildings are the obvious places, but we hope that local shops and businesses will take part too.”
The scheme is hoped to save the town thousands of pounds. The toilets situated in Merchants Barton, which are operated by the town council and owned by Mendip District Council, alone cost almost £1,000 per month just for cleaning. It is hoped that these toilets will be handed back to Mendip District Council.
Cllr Mel Usher said, “The idea is that we switch funding to venues in town to pubs, cafes and the like and the town council uses some of the savings from not maintaining traditional toilets, to help out the owner with any extra demand or cleaning. The result is that more and better toilets will be available around town.”
A town council spokesperson explained, “The scheme has been popular in other parts of the country and proved good for business. While the public are not required to buy anything, there’s always a chance that they might.
“We now need to talk to all local businesses to see whether they would be willing to take part. It’s early days and we hope they will.
“Subject to a positive response from local businesses, the town council is aiming to get the scheme up and running for 1st April.”
Cllr Usher is concerned about disused toilet blocks in the town which he says are eyesores. “There are several toilet blocks in town. Christchurch Street East, Badcox and adjacent to the Cork Street car park that have been left abandoned by the district council; they are eyesores,” he said.
“I think they should either be reused for some other purpose or knocked down. They add to the run down feel of parts of the town and I really do think that a public body like Mendip should not just walk away from its responsibilities, leaving abandoned semi-derelict buildings in the centre of Frome.”
The Mendip District Council operated toilets in the Market Yard car park will continue to be open as will the toilets which are run by Frome Town Council in Victoria Park.

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