Assembly Member backs calls for public loos at Porthcawl beauty spot

Attempts by two local councillors to get public toilets at Newton Beach are being backed by Shadow Welsh Tourism Minister Suzy Davies.

Mrs Davies, who is a Welsh Conservative Regional AM, heard how Newton borough councillor Ken Watts and Town Council Independent councillor Graham Walters have joined forces to try to get something done.

Coun Watts, who is a Conservative member, said the situation had become dire following the Welsh Government’s decision to abandon the public loos scheme under which landlords and café owners were paid £500 a year to allow the public to use their toilets.

He said: “That scheme was a Godsend to Newton because two of the pubs and a café participated. We have never had toilets at the beach so it seemed sensible to make use of facilities provided by businesses.

“Newton Beach now gets more visitors than Rest Bay where toilets have been provided by BCBC but there was no chance of getting the council to step in.

“That’s why the two of us asked Porthcawl Town Council to pay for a feasibility study into the possibility of putting an automatic toilet on a small piece of land near the car park.”

However, before the report could be commissioned, the two councillors were approached by a local businessman and landowner who said he was considering providing toilets as part of a scheme to develop the private car park.

“We were asked to give him a few months to progress this plan and we are now waiting to hear back from him,” added Coun Watts.

“If a private business will foot this bill it would save the council taxpayers of Porthcawl from having to find £65,000 – assuming that the feasibility study would have come out in favour.”

Suzy Davies said: “One of Wales’ major attractions for visitors – the unique coastal path – takes in Newton beach. If we’re going to highlight Wales as a destination for walkers and cyclists, we need high standard comfort facilities for them.

“This is of particular significance to Porthcawl which is always looking for new ways to attract investment and create new reasons for people to visit the town.

“More than that, we are all being encouraged to take a bit more exercise. It doesn’t help if people are worried they may get caught short when they’re out walking.

“Age Cymru has identified that lack of public toilet facilities is something that older people in particular consider a deterrent to getting out to socialise or keep active.

“I hope that the action of our local councillors here will be successful.”

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/assembly-member-backs-calls-public-7740164