Cornwall

'Third World' Cornish toilet row plea to David Cameron

Toilets at Treyarnon Bay
Image caption Dozens of toilets in Cornwall could close in April 2016

A plea has gone to Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene in an "unworkable" toilet privatisation plan.

It follows the failure of the "Your Convenience" plan by Cornwall Council to hand over public loos to businesses.

One councillor said the "naive" scheme could leave the county loo-less; a desperate situation he likened to a "Third World country".

Conservative MP Scott Mann has asked David Cameron to reclassify public toilets as statutory services.

The prime minister regularly holidays near Polzeath where, according to an interactive loo-finder on Cornwall Council's website, there are two conveniences.

'Disastrous consequences'

Truro councillor Stuart Roden dubbed Your Convenience "really naive and probably unworkable".

He said: "How can you envisage not having public toilets in Cornwall. It's not a Third World country."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Camerons take an annual holiday near Polzeath in Cornwall where there are currently two public loos available

Cornwall Council had hoped more than 40 public conveniences would taken on by businesses but it currently appears only five are likely to transferred.

The other toilets would close in April next year when the council withdraws funding for them in a cost-cutting measure.

Mr Mann said their closure would "bring disastrous consequences upon the county" and this was a "fundamental public health issue".

He is calling for a change in law so local authorities have an obligation to fund public toilets.

Image caption Cost cutting could see Cornwall's toilets permanently engaged to those wishing to spend a penny

David Cameron's office has been approached by the BBC but has not provided any comment on the issue.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "Local people know what's best for their area, which is why we are reviewing how business rates can support local authorities and their facilities."

Cornwall Council did not respond to questions from the BBC.

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