COWES Town Council has taken on the public toilets at the seafront — and immediately faced a £63,000 repair bill.

The Parade toilets were previously managed by the Isle of Wight Council, which has, following huge budget cuts in recent years, asked town and parish councils to run them instead.

The town council commissioned a survey of the building, who found immediate action was needed to carry out emergency repairs to the roof, ceiling and internal lighting.

A Cowes Town Council spokesperson said: "

"Faced with the decision, do we lose the Parade toilets or do we take them on from the Isle of Wight Council, it was a no-brainer — we had to take them on.

"After arranging a survey of the building, it was decided immediate action needed to be taken. Following the tendering process, Emerald Construction was contracted for the project, which cost in excess of £63,000.

"The original roof was removed and replaced, along with a new internal ceiling and lighting system."

Emerald Construction also repaired and repainted the Bandstand roofing and benches to smarten up the area.

Ryde Town Councillor, and Island Labour chair, Julian Critchley, said: "This is exactly what the Isle of Wight Council did to Ryde Town Council. We were told they were withdrawing funding from various services — including public toilets — and if we didn't, as a town council, agree to fund them, then they'd be shut.

"This is why precepts are rising, to pay for services which the Isle of Wight Council used to fund. It enables the Isle of Wight council to 'hide' the cuts it is making, by shovelling them onto town councils, and then watch while town and parish councils are blamed for having to raise precepts."


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