PLANS for an eco-friendly ‘compost’ toilet at the Maes y Bedol community garden in Garnant have been guaranteed financial backing by Cwmaman town council – provided the loos offer full disabled access.
The demand came after it emerged the Garnant Family Centre was considering reducing the size of the proposed facility – making it non disabled friendly - in a bid to lower costs.
Councillors were told how an original scheme, costing £4,500, was proving difficult to finance, but the reduction in the facility’s size would see the setup costs reduced to £2,800.
The town council had previously agreed to partfund the original project, but was dismayed to hear of the change of plans, which came about after the centre had only been able to claim a £1,772 grant from the Carmarthenshire Environmental Project.
“The grant they received was reduced and so they have tried to reduce the specification to meet the funding they have,” clerk David Davies told the council.
However, many councillors questioned the legality of building new public facilities which did not have disabled access and did not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.
“As far as I am aware, anyone who builds new toilet facilities is nowlegally bound to provide disabled access.”
Cllr Emyr Jenkins added: “I would assume that the grant they have received will be on the understanding that disabled access is provided.
“I would worry that the family centre may discover that if they lose the disabled element of the facilities they may well lose the grant too.”
Members agreed that the council would guarantee meeting the shortfall for the original plan – including disabled access – provided the centre explored other funding avenues.