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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Millom toilets to stay open

A CLOSURE-THREATENED toilet block in Millom will stay open, a council has vowed.

But members of Millom Town Council also warned of “challenging times ahead” for residents.

Under Copeland Borough Council’s £2.6m budget cut proposals, Millom Town Council will lose its £2,000 grant for the upkeep of the St George’s Road toilet block.

Speaking at Wednesday night’s town council meeting, councillors vowed to make up the remaining money needed to keep them open.

Councillor Frank McPhillips said: “We’re not closing the toilets. We’ve no intention of letting it happen.

“They are not something that we have to provide, but we do. I would rather cut other things.”

The toilets had been temporarily closed due to a burst water main. But the problem has since been fixed by United Utilities engineers.

Cllr McPhillips added that the town’s budget cuts are not going to be pleasant when they are introduced in the next financial year.

He said: “We know that we’ve got at least £2,000 to find for the toilets.

“And we’re still waiting to hear back from Copeland as to whether we’ll get the £3,000 grant for Millom Park.

“So already we’ve potentially got £5,000 to find.

“We’ve got to have a look at cutting things to make the money up.

“We cannot just carry on as we are. We’re going to have to seriously look at what we pay for.”

Councillor Ray Cole added: “We’ve got to be prudent. We don’t want to be seen wanting.

“We’ve got to be careful or we’ll run into deficit.

“There are some things that we have to provide. But there are others that we don’t. There are some challenging times ahead.”

It was also agreed at the meeting that the council would renew its insurance policy, at a cost of £3,644.

But Cllr McPhillips pointed out that the insurance will rise to more than £7,000 when the skate park plaza is built and added to the policy – something the councillors accepted at an extraordinary council meeting earlier this month.

Cllr Cole said: “We simply haven’t got the money. And the only people who provide the money are the people of the town.

“There’s a severe health warning here that we should take notice of.”

• There are two public consultations scheduled for Millom to discuss Copeland Borough Council’s proposed budget cuts.

The first meeting will take place on November 20, from 7.30pm at Millom Network Centre. The next meeting will take place on November 27, from 2pm to 4pm, at Millom Guide Hall, off St George’s Road.

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