THE saga of Carmarthenshire’s public toilets looked set to continue after the local authority failed to provide Cwmaman councillors with the necessary transfer paperwork for approval.
Cwmaman is one of numerous community councils prepared “in principal” to take on responsibility for its public loo as the county council looks to shed costs - provided members get the chance to inspect the small-print.
“Copies of a draft lease are still not available,” council clerk David Davies told frustrated councillors.
The hand over–in the form of a 25-year lease - has been subject to ongoing negotiations with the local authority repeatedly forced to improve its offer.
“The county council has come a long way from its original proposal,”
said county council leader and Cwmaman councillor Kevin Madge.
The authority initially offered a one-off £500 payment but that has since risen to £1,000.
Further inducements have included the payment of rates while the latest twist saw it offering to cover 75 percent of firstyear costs, 50 percent in the second and 25 percent in the third.
However, concerns remain over the deal’s finer details, in particular the offer of the facility’s leasehold.
“If we own the toilet then it is this council’s asset. If not, we are paying to improve someone else’s asset,” said Cllr Mal Walker. “This is about more than just three years.
“We will be paying for something that is not ours for years to come.
“I do not understand why we cannot take it lock, stock and barrel.”
Cllr Madge said the scheme was in the interests of all community councils.
“We have to keep the same policy for all otherwise it would be anarchy,” he said.
Councillors agreed that no formal agreement could be reached until the lease was produced.
Clerk David Davies said: “The principal has been considered in some detail, now we need to see the actual detail.”
Unless agreements are signed, all facilities will close on March 31.