AT LEAST 22 of the 34 Pembrokeshire public toilets at risk of potential closure are expected be saved, with a further nine due to plead their cases before senior councillors.
Due to financial constraints, the February meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet listed 34 toilets at potential risk of closure if community asset transfers to town and community councils or other sources of funding weren’t agreed.
In May, Cabinet resolved to offer discretionary funding for those under threat of closure to March 2024, where negotiations such as leasing or asset transfer were ongoing.
Members of next week’s Policy and Pre-decision Overview and Scrutiny Committee, meeting on November 21, will consider a report outlining the latest progress, highlighting “some very positive outcomes which will help to minimise closures”.
The report says an agreement has been reached with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, to the value of £111,000 a year for two years, to fund 10 facilities: Angle Beach, Broad Haven North, Freshwater East, Little Haven, Manorbier Beach, Newport Beach, Poppit Sands, St Brides, Saundersfoot, and Solva.
The county council has agreed to fund Dale facilities from its car parking budget, saving some £10,000 from the toilet budget, while a 50 per cent funding offer for two seasons has been made by the National Trust – due to be discussed at the December Cabinet meeting – for Bosherston, offering a saving of £8,000 a year.
The report says that four town/ community councils have agreed to either fund, lease or asset transfer their facilities from April 1, expected to save £25,000 a year, covering Penally, Porthgain, Tenby Upper Frog Street, and Wisemans Bridge.
Similar conversations are ongoing for seven further facilities, with potential annual savings of £45,000 yearly: Abercastle, Amroth East, Bryn Road St David’s, Cresswell Quay, Kilgetty, Neyland Marina, and Newport Parrog.
An exception request is due to be considered by Cabinet for the latter, due to complex land ownership arrangements.
Eight exception requests from town and community councils who feel they have been disproportionately financially affected are also to be considered by Cabinet, with an estimated annual bill of some £72,000.
The eight: Abereiddy, Carew, Cwm Yr Eglwys, Moylegrove, Newgale South, Nolton, North Beach Tenby, and Pwllgwaelod, will close unless the exceptions are agreed, or alternative funding streams are identified.
Legal avenues are being explored for two facilities with a view to close, saving some £9,000 a year: Burton and Oriel Y Parc St David’s, with one facility at Marloes village to close due to no alternative funder coming forward, at a saving of £5,500 a year.