A six month trial to levy charges at public toilets in Richmondshire will begin in July.
Councillors have agreed to test the scheme at three facilities – each with different usage which they hope will give them a broad view of how charging would affect all 14 public toilets in the district.
Members of the Corporate Board were last night (Tuesday April 5) told that levying a charge of 20p a visit could generate another £157,000 in income for the authority.
In the last 12 months the 14 locations – in Hawes, Reeth, Richmond, Muker, Leyburn, Middleham, Gunnerside, Keld, Catterick, Bainbridge, Grinton and Langthwaite – were used 987,659 times.
“As part of our on going need to find savings various options for the future of these public toilets have been explored,” said Leader of the Council, Councillor Yvonne Peacock.
“By bringing in a small 20p a visit charge we can raise an additional £157,000 in income after overheads have been removed – this is not an amount we can ignore. It is relatively affordable and in line with charges made by other local authorities.
“Introducing charging will mean we can continue to provide public toilets in these locations and may mean other essential services do not need to be cut.”
A pilot scheme will run from July until December this year at Nuns Close in Richmond, Middleham and Langthwaite toilets.
Once the results have been analysed work to roll the scheme out at all 14 facilities will begin
The decision by Corporate Board will be ratified by members of Full Council later this month (April 19).