Tourists and second home owners will have to PAY to use St Ives public toilets but locals will be able to spend a penny for free
- St Ives Town Council will charge tourists to use public toilets in their town
- Locals will be issued with a special ‘wipe card’ to allow access to the toilet
- There are eight public conveniences across the popular Cornish seaside resort
Tourists and second home owners visiting a Cornish sea sideside resort will have to pay to use public toilets while the facilities will remain free for locals.
St Ives Town Council has announced part of its policy to slash the cost of living for its residents by imposing the charges on incomers.
All eight public toilets in the west Cornish town have traditionally been free to use by everyone, but now the local authority wants to recoup some cash without adversely affecting locals.
Residents from St Ives will not have to pay to use public conveniences when the new charges are introduced. Tourists and second home owners will have to pay to cover the costs of providing the service
All eight public toilets in the west Cornish town have traditionally been free to use by everyone, but now the local authority wants to recoup some cash without adversely affecting locals
Officials admitted servicing the lavatories ‘cost a small fortune’ each year, with mounting bills for water, cleaning and maintenance.
Town clerk Louise Dwelly said that the pandemic and the diminishing use of coins and increasing use of contactless payment facilities had given the authority the idea and means to make it easier to pay to use the facilities.
She said that under the scheme only those with a primary residence in the town who pay their council tax in St Ives will get to use the toilets for free.
The town council said it is still finalising the details of the new contactless toilets but is looking at ways to ensure second home owners or holiday let users cannot use their temporary St Ives address or share any access codes with their Airbnb customers, so public toilets are only genuinely free for locals.
Mrs Dwelly said: ‘We will be giving residents a card or code to use on their phone so when they use the public toilets it will be free. Visitors will have to pay and will be able to use their phone or credit card to do so.
‘It’s nothing new. In other towns in Cornwall you have to pay to use the public toilets. But with the number of visitors we receive every year we think our public toilets should pay for themselves without our residents being penalised. What’s new is the contactless payment facility.’
Mrs Dwelly said the scheme will be trialled out first at two of the toilets sites including those at the Sloop car park with the others being rolled out later this year.