SHOPPERS in St Neots will not have to worry about finding somewhere to spend a penny after the town council agreed to save two sets of public toilets. However, the long term future of public loos in Huntingdon and St Ives still remains in the balance a

SHOPPERS in St Neots will not have to worry about finding somewhere to spend a penny after the town council agreed to save two sets of public toilets.

However, the long term future of public loos in Huntingdon and St Ives still remains in the balance and will ultimately be decided in six months' time.

The axe has been hanging over the public conveniences since Huntingdonshire District Council told the town councils the facilities would close unless they took responsibility for them. HDC wanted to off load some costs and the town councils were concerned about the additional financial burden.

But last Wednesday, St Neots Town Council decided bite the bullet and take over the running of the WCs at Riverside and Tebbutts Road.

Town mayor Councillor Gordon Thorpe said he, Cllr David Harty and Cllr Andrew Hansard had reached an agreement with HDC - the district council would retain responsibility for the buildings while the town council paid for the cleaning.

The town council would also pay a peppercorn rent for 10 years.

A spokesman for HDC said: "The tenant will be responsible for cleaning, servicing and general maintenance with us responsible for structural condition. The aim is to hand over by April 1, but the toilets will remain open while the legalities are finalised."

The deal is expected £8,376 for each set of toilets per year.

It was suggested the £16,000 from when Eynesbury Hardwicke Parish Council is dissolved into St Neots at the end of the month should be used cover the costs.

Councillors were concerned the agreement did not apply to the South Street toilets and will ask HDC to reconsider the decision.

Cllr Bob Barnes, chairman of Eynesbury Hardwick Parish Council said more should be done to keep the South Street toilets open.

Elsewhere only the loos at the bus stations in Huntingdon and St Ives will remain open after April 1, and then for just six months.

In Ramsey the conveniences have already closed with new ones to be included in the library being built by the Luminus Group on the site of the old Grand Cinema.