Plaid Cymru Councillors vote to keep Gwynedd toilets open

02/06/2016

Plaid Cymru’s Gwynedd Councillors voted unanimously in favour of a scheme to keep all Gwynedd toilets that are under threat of closure, due to Tory funding cuts, open for the future.

At a recent Communities Scrutiny Committee (19 May 2016) Plaid Cymru Councillors supported fully an alternative plan to keep all 74 toilets open in Gwynedd communities, in addition to the 35 ‘community’ toilets available for public use.

Due to huge financial pressures on Councils throughout Wales following Tory cuts from London in recent years, all Gwynedd Councillors have to make difficult decisions to ensure statutory services for the people of Gwynedd are met, whilst other county services face the possibilities of cuts.

One member of the committee, Dolgellau’s Plaid Cymru Councillor, Linda Morgan said: “We have to look at alternative ways of plugging these big financial holes facing us, unfortunately. On this occasion, a cross party agreement, bar one Councillor, was in favour of looking at an alternative scheme to meet the cuts. What this means is, we can discuss keeping the current level of Public Toilets in Gwynedd. This is fantastic news!”

One of the proposals in the scheme is to involve Town and Community Councils to discuss a partnership approach to managing Public Toilets, ensuring that toilets remain open in local communities. As part of the discussion with Town and Community Councils, local people could be provided with the opportunity to develop potential long-term arrangements and look at opportunities for partner organisations to attract external grant funding to improve or adapt facilities in the area.

Of the 109 toilets available for local people, shoppers and visitors to use in Gwynedd, 35 are community toilets. These are public conveniences already run by local businesses, shops, cafes, community based ventures etc.  A Welsh Government supported grant scheme of £500 enables these businesses and organisations to offer the use of their toilet facilities to the public in rural communities, such as Gwynedd.

Councillor Morgan who herself has a long term medical condition said: “People like myself who have long term health issues, need to be able to access public conveniences in Gwynedd. We plan our journeys and make sure we know that there is a toilet during that trip, be that a community toilet, a hotel, a cafe or a public house, on the way that you can use.

“I’m delighted that we had a positive meeting offering us an alternative option to closing these facilities. A lot has been said in the media in recent weeks and months and the facts sometimes get lost in a lot of hype and negativity.

“The message was loud and clear from Plaid Cymru’s quarters at our Scrutiny Committee – we are doing our utmost here in Gwynedd to keep all these toilets open for local people to use and the thousands of tourists who visit us during the year.”

Plaid Cymru Councillor John Wynn Jones added: “Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet will now discuss the recommendations. If the Cabinet is in agreement, work will then begin with City, Town and Community Councils across Gwynedd to try and work together to find alternative ways of keeping these important facilities and services open.”