George Lane car park toilets shut from Friday as Wiltshire Council washes its hands of public conveniences
From midnight tonight (Thursday, 31 March), the public toilets in the George Lane car park will be closed. Wiltshire Council - which has no statutory duty to provide public toilets - is closing all the public conveniences it owns and runs which have not been taken over by local councils.
Town and parish councils were asked, at short notice, whether they wanted to take these facilities over. The toilets at Marlborough's George Lane car park were amongst those set for closure.
Although, like Wiltshire Council, the Town Council has no statutory duty to provide this service, councillors recognised the importance of providing toilet facilities for its residents and visitors and has decided to take on this building via a Community Asset Transfer.
As Marlborough.News reported in January, if the George Lane car park toilets had not been transferred to the Town Council, they would just have closed for good. However the Community Asset Transfer has now gone through and the toilets are the responsibility of the Town Council.
Currently, there is no funding to provide toilets at George Lane. Existing running costs for the building are just under £20,000 a year and no significant investment has been made at the site for many years. Therefore Town Councillors have decided to sell the public conveniences it owns at Chantry Lane and use the proceeds of the sale to upgrade the George Lane toilets.
This will then offer a much improved level of service at one site helping to meet the town’s local and tourism needs. It will mean that the George Lane toilets will be temporarily closed and those at Chantry Lane will be open - until a sale has been agreed so that renovation work can begin at George Lane.
Notices will direct people to Chantry Lane and information flyers about the new arrangements will be delivered around the High Street.
Marlborough.News understands that the costs of running the George Lane car park toilets include £6,200 in business rates, insurance, contract cleaning, electricity and water rates.
The Town Mayor, Councillor Margaret Rose, said: “Although, there will be no public conveniences at George Lane for a short time whilst we raise the funds through the sale of our own toilets at Chantry Lane, this is a real chance to upgrade the town’s facilities."
"We are discussing renovations that might include not only new and better toilet provision but possibly a small Tourist Information Point and a coach driver’s rest room which all fits in with aspirations to become a Coach Friendly Town.”
Looking ahead, there may well be a period of time when Chantry Lane has been sold and renovations start at George Lane - and the town has no public toilets at all.