Residents could spend more than a penny

UNDER-threat public toilets in Needham Market could be paid for by the town's householders in a bid to keep them open, it emerged today.The town council is set for talks about taking on the Barrett's Lane loos after Mid Suffolk council revealed it is considering withdrawing funding for them.

UNDER-threat public toilets in Needham Market could be paid for by the town's householders in a bid to keep them open, it emerged today.

The town council is set for talks about taking on the Barrett's Lane loos after Mid Suffolk council revealed it is considering withdrawing funding for them.

But the move would mean extra money added on to the precept demanded from taxpayers in the town.

Josephine Lea, town clerk, said: "We want to keep them open but we need to find out how much it would cost.


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"It looks like Mid Suffolk aren't going to pay for them and it would be a shame to lose them. They are right in the town centre and are important to us."

A meeting is now being arranged with Mid Suffolk council to find out how much it would cost the town to run the toilets. The findings will be presented to the town council on February 2, when a decision will be made on their future.

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The announcement by Needham Market council comes after their Stowmarket counterparts decided against a similar move.

It now looks like Stowmarket's recreation ground toilets will be bulldozed, with no one prepared to pay for their estimated £7,000-a-year upkeep.

Pat Bellay, chairman of the Needham Market Luncheon Club, which represents the town's business community, said it is important this does not happen in Needham Market.

He said: "The Barrett's Lane toilets are important to the town and need to be kept open if possible.

"We want to attract as many people as possible to the town and to do that we need to keep our amenities, including these toilets.

"As long as they don't cost too much to take on, I think householders in the town would be prepared to pay for them."

Mid Suffolk council, which has debts approaching £1.8million, will finalise its budget on February 16. This is when a final announcement will be made on what it intends to pay for in the next financial year.

Who should pay for the toilets? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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