THERE is some relief for public loo campaigners with the closure of Hay-on-Wye’s conveniences being put off for three months.
Powys County Council had been set to cut funding at the end of 2013, however they agreed to delay that date in the hope that the extra time will help town councils and community groups raise enough money to take over the facilities.
Hay-on-Wye town council had already entered into negotiations with cash-strapped county council, with a view to taking over the town’s two facilities.
Powys’ Geraint Hopkins, cabinet member for operations, hopes that by pushing back the possible hand-over to the start of the financial year, town councils will have enough “breathing space” in their budgets.
He said: “The delay will give town and community councils the opportunity to fully consider the budget implications of any transfer and make appropriate provision in their annual budget.
“We believe a combination of public, private and community supported facilities is right for the county but it must be done in a way that allows local community councils and other organisations to properly manage their budgets.
“The delay will give those organisations breathing space and adequate time to fully consider the financial implications of any transfer.”
The county council currently manage 40 public loos, but have pledged £10,000 in grants for private companies willing to open their toilet doors to the public.
And while facilities on the Welsh county’s trunk roads had already been protected until April, this delay will offer the same cover to tourist destinations like Hay-on-Wye, while alternatives are explored.