Public toilets in Porthcawl closed until further notice

Closure notice on toilets at John Street, Porthcawl Image copyright Carl Hale
Image caption A sign made it clear the public toilets in Porthcawl were not re-opening after Christmas

Hundreds of New Year visitors to a seaside town found the public toilets closed until further notice.

Residents of Porthcawl have objected to the cost-cutting measure by Bridgend County Borough Council.

Porthcawl Town Council, due to take over responsibility, said they would reopen soon but has complained about the short notice given.

Shop owner Carl Hale said he counted more than 1,000 people trying to use the John Street toilets on Wednesday.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he kept count after noticing them from the window of his tanning shop, opposite the Grade II-listed building.

"It's not even that busy in the town centre as it's January - come March-time those numbers are going to triple," he said.

Mr Hale said he was particularly concerned about older people, saying the lack of toilets would stop them coming into town and visiting local shops.

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Residents of Porthcawl have campaigned to keep the public toilets open

Thousands of people signed a petition in September against the plans with a protest outside the toilets taking place in October.

Bridgend council, which has been trying to regenerate Porthcawl, confirmed the closure of its public toilets along with those at Maesteg bus station and Cheapside in Bridgend to make savings.

A spokesman said: "Although the facilities closed this week we are working with Porthcawl Town Council to develop an agreement for them to operate both the John Street and Griffin Park toilets.

"We're anticipating that this agreement should be in place by 1 February and the town council will then decide a suitable date for the toilets to re-open as soon possible after that date."

Norah Clarke, Porthcawl town mayor and a county councillor for Nottage, said the town council agreed in December to "mobilise contingency plans" once it became clear Bridgend council was "going to walk away".

"The toilets will be open again as soon as possible," she said.

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