Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Long Melford/Lavenham: Visitors happy to pay for convenience of public loo - £1,000 left in honesty box

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 May 2014

Do you use public toilets?

Do you use public toilets?

A scheme to keep public conveniences open in one of Suffolk’s most picturesque tourist villages is working well, the newly-elected parish council chairman has confirmed.

The people of Lavenham decided to take control of the two public toilet blocks in the village in 2011, after Babergh District Council said it could no longer afford to keep them open.

The parish council also assumed responsibility for managing its own car parks.

But while Long Melford parish council has expressed some concerns about the ongoing cost of keeping its toilets open, Lavenham’s scheme – which includes asking people to make a donation to park or use the lavatories – is being hailed as a success.

Although there were doubts as to whether visitors would voluntarily pay, so far more than £1,000 has been left in an “honesty box” at the main facilities in the car park next to The Cock pub.

Parish council chairman Carroll Reeve said: “It costs us a lot to run the toilets and car parks and ideally we would have preferred it if Babergh had kept control of them, but we were faced with the option of taking them on or losing them.

“We don’t charge for parking but there’s an honesty box which has raised several hundred pounds. Although it doesn’t pay the costs, we are hoping as it gains momentum, it will eventually make a larger contribution.”

The parish council uses the same contractor to clean and manage the blocks on a day to day basis as Babergh did, but although the district is currently renegotiating its contract with the Landscape Group, Lavenham is happy with the current arrangement and intends to continue using the firm.

Mr Reeve said the cost of running the car parks and toilets was worthwhile considering the village’s reputation as a top tourist destination.

He added: “More than 300 people in Lavenham are employed in tourism-related jobs and we estimate that around £500,000 is paid out in rates.

“If we let the toilets fall into disrepair or close, our economy would suffer. We took this on at a time when things have been difficult enough for traders so we try to look at it as a positive move and an investment in the village.”

The parish council is also looking to convert all of its street lights to energy-saving LED lights.

1 comment

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A drunk motorist who drove at speeds of up to 110mph during a police chase on Suffolk roads has been jailed for 16 months.

A series of celebrations marking the achievements of Suffolk’s “most famous daughter” is being held around the centenary of her death.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) thank support from generous communities and corporate organisations across Suffolk.

More than 100 creative computing pupils put their digital skills to the test today at the UK finals of the CoSpace competition in Martlesham.

Caravans have pitched up on land in Martlesham Heath, near Adastral Park, today.

People living along a 183km stretch of Suffolk roads will witness the world’s greatest cyclists race past their doorsteps during Britain’s “premier” road event, which for the first time features a stage hosted entirely within the county.

Former Ipswich Town stars Matt Holland and Russell Osman captained the teams in the annual ITFC Legends charity match, held at Bury Town’s Ram Meadow stadium on Sunday.

A planning inquiry into proposals to build 300 homes in Kesgrave has stalled after it was ruled that a key report on housing needs in Suffolk was needed for a fair decision to be made.

Hospitals across the region have been dealt extra funding to cope with pressure on emergency wards over the winter months.

An intrepid Ipswich man will drive more than 10,000 miles through rough terrain in a clapped-out banger this summer as he attempts one of the world’s most gruelling motoring events.

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24