MP fights for public toilets in Polegate


Polegate MP Norman Baker said he is fighting for the future of the town’s public toilets in the High Street after the town council’s decision not to take on financial responsibility for them.

Last week the Express reported how Polegate Town Council opted not to run the toilets after Wealden District Council said it could no longer finance them. The town council said it would have been a financial burden on council tax payers.

The district council plans to close the toilets on April 1.

Mr Baker has written to Wealden District Council asking for a stay of execution, while other options are considered for the toilets. He said: “It is quite wrong of Wealden District Council to shut these vital facilities. They spend little enough in Polegate as it is. To add to the misery, the town council, which had the option to step into the breach, has now given up on the toilets, meaning closure is almost certain. This is a wasted opportunity for the town to have the public toilets preserved. Removing these facilities will likely have a negative effect on local businesses as the town centre becomes less attractive to shoppers.”

Cllr Graham Wells, Cabinet member for Housing and Asset Management at the district council, said: “We appreciate that the cost of maintaining buildings solely for use as public toilets is expensive and we look forward to exploring with the town council and others the possibility of establishing a community toilet scheme. Community Toilet Schemes have been operating very successfully in other Wealden towns for a number of years. They have proved to be a very cost effective way of ensuring the continuation of toilet facilities whilst also providing an additional source of income and footfall to establishments.”