We are NOT closing toilets - councillors vow

The Boston Borough Council building.
The Boston Borough Council building.

Councillors have been pushing the message that they are NOT looking to close toilets and get businesses to take on complete responsibility.

After Boston Borough Council last week released it’s Transformation Programme – which aims to save £2.2 million – it was feared that the authority was looking to close facilities to save money.

However, Couns Aaron Spencer and Paul Skinner along with parish councillor Paula Cooper, have been visiting businesses today (Wednesday) to clarify they have no intention of doing so.

Instead, they could look to get businesses to open their doors to the public – in addition to the existing toilets – possibly with some sort of financial incentive.

In a letter handed to businesses, Coun Spencer said: “What the council has been discussing is a reorganisation of the finances to keep the public toilets open, that’s the simple fact.

“We do have to make savings but we are very well aware what Boston people want.

“One thought was that financial incentives could be offered to businesses if their toilets were available but that’s in addition to the existing facilities not instead.”

According to the council, the proposal is to reduce spending on public toilets by 75 per cent, saving £150,000 a year, by looking at how costs could be reduced.

Speaking to The Standard this afternoon, the councillors said the Bargate and Bus Station toilets would be remaining open, and the Central Park would stay so once it was repaired after it was forced to close last week when a car collided with it.

Although the details have not been set in stone, and will not be until public consultation ends, Coun Spencer said financial incentives could include recompense for costs incurred.

The councillors also moved to reassure businesses that they were not demanding they open their toilets.

Coun Cooper said: “It’s entirely voluntary, we are not saying you have got to do this. We are looking at if this can be reformed in a way that works for the town.”

The Transformation Programme aims to guide the council in ways it can save around £2.2 million - and follows a similar review which has already saved the authority £2.4 million.

Boston Borough Council will look at how it can save money on items like staffing, election funding, lighting, volunteer grants and maintenance of amenity spaces.

It could include off-loading responsibility to town and parish councils or to the Boston Town Area Committee, for instance.

The measures in the programme could, if implemented in full, save £5.795 million.

Boston Borough Cabinet met this morning (Wednesday) to discuss the plans, and Boston Town Area Committee will examine the savings proposals next Wednesday.

For more see next Wednesday’s Standard.