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Vale unveils plans for loos revamp instead of closure
9:30am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
JUST three weeks ago, residents hit out when it looked like public toilets across the Vale would close.
But now council chiefs have announced that loos in Abingdon, Botley, Faringdon and Wantage are instead in for a quarter of a million pounds of investment.
Councillors have chosen to overrule officers who suggested the toilets should be closed to save more than £110,000.
Announcing the investment of £250,000 in the £13.5m budget for next year, Vale of White Horse district council leader Matthew Barber denied the move was a u-turn.
Mr Barber said: “I have always made it clear that it is not on our agenda to close public toilets. The only toilets that are going to close as part of the budget are the ones that are going to be replaced.”
Mr Barber added that some existing toilet blocks could be completely rebuilt while others could be refurbished.
He said the toilets at Abbey Meadows, Abingdon, and at Faringdon’s Southampton Street car park were top of the list.
He said: “Details are still being drawn up on the best way to go forward on this because some work might need planning permission.”
The six public toilets that were under threat are in Chapel Way, Botley, Manor Road and Portway car park in Wantage, Southampton Street car park in Faringdon and in the Charter car park and Abbey Meadows in Abingdon.
Two other automatic toilets in West St Helen’s Street, Abingdon, and Post Office Lane, Wantage, were closed in July.
Residents in the Vale are also being told there will be a council tax freeze for the third year running.
The budget proposal also includes £350,000 for replacement pitches at Tilsley Park leisure centre in Abingdon to be replaced, and £250,000 for 50 additional parking spaces at the town’s White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre.
Last year’s budget was £13.7m.
Councillors will be asked to approve the plans next Wednesday.