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Public toilets in Cornwall

We recognise that public toilets are important to residents and visitors alike but with huge cuts in funding by central Government we have been forced, like other local authorities, to review the non-statutory services we provide.

Recognising that finding a solution would take time, we instigated a review of public toilets back in April 2016. Rather than close them, Cornwall Council has been working with the Local Town and Parish Councils and other organisations to transfer responsibility for running the toilets to them. This has been very successful and has saved a great many public toilets from closure.

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We have now successfully transferred the ownership or management of over 200 public toilets to local city, town and parish councils and local community organisations and businesses. Only 16 toilets have closed to date, but this number could be reduced in the future as other potential solutions are explored.

There are 20 public toilets in Cornwall that are currently operated by Cornwall Council and we have installed charging to help maintain and keep them open. The Council are continuing to seek alternative service provision for these toilets in the future as part of the ongoing programme.

As part of the transfer arrangements, the Council has invested around £4.2m in making improvements to facilities. This has brought about significant improvements including improved access for people with disabilities and energy and water saving measures which will help cut future running costs. We’ve also helped install charging where requested.

Many local councils and communities have secured the future of assets and services important to them by taking over their ownership or management as part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme.