Stur loos survive closure threat
PUBLIC loos in Sturminster Newton have been saved from demolition after town councillors pledged to do more to deter vandals.
The Station Road loos have been targeted by vandals several times including an attack this summer that led to repair bills of more than £3,000.
Town council chairman Joe Rose said then that the cost of repairs was making the facility unviable and could lead to demolition.
But a review led to the town council deciding to keep the toilets and make them free to use at all times.
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The council will install CCTV to deter vandalism in future.
But the cost of providing the toilets will be kept under review and expensive repairs could lead to a decision to close them.
Councillor Rose said after the council meeting on Thursday: "The town needs accessible public toilets if it is to thrive as a commercial centre and sustain a vibrant local community.
"It is therefore only right that the town council provides necessary and reasonable financial support.
"However, in these difficult financial times, we are intensely aware of the need to get best value for the public money entrusted to our care.
"This was not an easy decision and the council is prepared to close the toilets and seek other ways of providing the service if further problems leave it no reasonable alternative."
Public loos at Ricketts Lane and Sturminster Mill are not affected and will stay in use as at present.
The town council took over responsibility for the toilets from North Dorset District Council several years ago.
In 2011 it spent more than £4,000 on repairs at the Station Road facility because of vandalism including fitting metal doors to replace vandalised wooden ones.