Spend a penny to save a loo

A FEW pennies spent by every household in Needham Market could save a toilet block from demolition.The town council is set for talks about taking on the Barrett's Lane loos – but it would mean the town's householders footing the bill for them.

A FEW pennies spent by every household in Needham Market could save a toilet block from demolition.

The town council is set for talks about taking on the Barrett's Lane loos - but it would mean the town's householders footing the bill for them.

The estimated £6,000-a-year running costs would boost the council's £63,000 precept by nearly ten per cent.

It would mean an extra sum of around £4 being added to the town's average band D council tax bill - but not until 2005.

This year the town's element of the council tax rose by 1.8 per cent, which is the equivalent of a £1.07 rise for band D bill-payers.

Jo Lea, town clerk, said: "We've got to weigh up the views of the people to see whether they want to pay for them and save them, or not.

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"But from what I've been hearing people do want to keep them. We're now looking into the possibility of taking them on."

But before the town council agrees do this, it has stated it expects Mid Suffolk council to spend the estimated £6,500 needed for the toilets to comply with new disability laws.

The council has also said it would not include the running costs in its budget until January 2005 at the earliest.

This would allow it time to generate the cash needed to pay for their upkeep.

Discussions are now set to take place with Mid Suffolk District Council about the terms of the possible handover.

The district council has already strongly indicated that it is not willing to carry on running the loos, as it strives to find budget savings of around £1.57million.

Would you pay extra to keep the toilets? Write to Evening Star 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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