I SEE that Huntingdon Town Council’s leisure development working party was to discuss the public conveniences at Riverside Park.
What concerns me is not just the abandonment of its responsibility by Huntingdonshire District Council, despite its receiving additional Government funding, nor that council’s implication that it will be the fault of the town council if the toilets are not re-opened.
It is the fees that the district council proposes to charge to the town council for taking over this responsibility, fees that will have to be wholly paid by the people of Huntingdon as the town council receives no funding from the Government.
Those annual fees are estimated as £14,777.50 and include £8,000 for contract cleaning, £3,000 for maintenance, calls out and repairs, £1,500 for water rates, £250 for consumables and £100 for insurance. The balance is made up by a Huntingdonshire District Council management charge of £1,927.50, or 15 per cent.
This is all atrocious, particularly the management charge. Not only is the district council off-loading its responsibility but it is fleecing the town council to support its own budget shortfall, while still taking income from the neighbouring car park
Surely there must be other ways of providing toilets here, perhaps by grant-aiding the rowing club. But, if the town council does cave in to the district council, it should at least use its own staff to run them – which must be cheaper than going through the district council.