Public toilets in Bridlington could be closed, or charges could be introduced for using them, as East Riding of Yorkshire Council looks to save £50,000.
It is carrying out an ‘asset review’ of the 36 public conveniences it owns to see how busy they are over the course of a year.
Options will include closure, transferring the buildings to other organisations such as town and parish councils or looking at how to generate income – and it will investigate ways of reducing operational and maintenance costs.
But one Bridlington councillor has said closing toilets would damage Bridlington’s reputation as a tourist resort.
Cllr David Robson, who represents the South ward, said: “For many citizens, the lack of any public conveniences is a debilitating factor when making a decision to venture out, either to shop or take a walk.
“In particular, in cold weather conditions, it can make people almost housebound.” East Riding Council operates the following public toilets in and around Bridlington:
○ Queen Street
○ Belvedere Park and Ride
○ Limekiln Lane car park
○ Flamborough Head Car Park and Café
○ Beaconsfield Promenade Office and Store
○ South Marine Drive Pumping Station
○ South Cliff Gardens
○ Princess Mary Promenade
○ Moorfield Road
○ Royal Princes Parade
○ Hilderthorpe Road Coach Park
○ Danes Dyke
○ Sewerby Hall.
Cllr Robson said a lack of public toilets would put tourists off from visiting Bridlington.
He said: “Businesses know that to survive in the real world, you have to take care of the needs of your customers, unlike local authorities who just look at the figure in a column and put a line through it.
“A tourist destination such as Bridlington would not attract people for a second visit if they experiences problems such as no public toilets.”
An East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesperson said: “In common with local authorities all over the country, the council is having to examine its budgets and expenditure to see where continued savings can be made, in the light of the significant decreases in financial support from central government.
“We are looking to save £50,000 per year on the cost of providing public conveniences by the end of 2018/19 by exploring a range of options, and no decisions on how these savings can be achieved have yet been made.
“The provision of public toilets is not a statutory function for local authorities, but the council recognises the importance and the benefits such facilities can bring to a particular location. However, we must also assess what constitutes best value in this era of greatly decreasing budgets.
“Operating savings may be made by moving provision into new facilities within multi-purpose buildings, rather than stand-alone facilities. In some cases other bodies may be better placed than the council to manage existing facilities.
“The council is also considering seasonal charging at some sites to cover the increased cost of providing the facilities to non-residents.
“Any changes in the current arrangements will be fully considered by the Cabinet as options are finalised throughout the year.”