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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 08/11/2005
Proposed Transfer of Public Toilets from Waverley to Farnham Town Council



Summary & Purpose
In recent years, Waverley has been ambitious to transfer those functions to Farnham Town Council which more properly append to a large town rather than a district and which were, in the early 1970’s, retained by Waverley because Farnham was not parished. So far, allotments and the cemetery function have been successfully transferred. Now it is proposed to transfer public toilets and this report seeks approval for the proposals.

APPENDIX K
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 8TH NOVEMBER 2005

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Title:
PROPOSED TRANSFER OF PUBLIC TOILETS FROM WAVERLEY
TO FARNHAM TOWN COUNCIL

[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]
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Summary and purpose:

In recent years, Waverley has been ambitious to transfer those functions to Farnham Town Council which more properly append to a large town rather than a district and which were, in the early 1970’s, retained by Waverley because Farnham was not parished. So far, allotments and the cemetery function have been successfully transferred. Now it is proposed to transfer public toilets and this report seeks approval for the proposals.

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Environmental implications:

Modern, well-maintained facilities can be modified to use minimum water and power, thus improving their environmental performance.

Social / community implications:

This report proposes a partnership approach to providing public conveniences in Farnham. Farnham Town Council wish to play an increasing role into the future and claim to be in a position to improve the quality of service to users. Good quality conveniences are important to local residents and tourists alike, regardless of age and physical ability. They can also help with street-scene management by reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications directly associated with this report.

Resource and legal implications:

Section 87 of the Public Health Act 1936 allows for the provision of Public sanitary conveniences by a County Council, a local authority or a parish or community council. The resource implications are identified in the financial appraisal contained in this report.

Background:

1. In the lead-in to the current financial year's budget, Members took the decision to reduce the provision of public toilets in Farnham. Little used, tumble-down and already closed public toilets were deleted from the provision. West Street toilets and South Street toilets were permanently closed.


2. So, apart from Brightwell’s toilets, which are really part of the East Street redevelopment consideration, there now remain three, namely Central Car Park, the Hart and Gostrey Meadow toilets. They serve different purposes. Central is the main town centre facility; Gostrey primarily serves the open space and the playground, the Hart (in poor condition) those who arrive by car or coach.

3. In the light of the long-term development potential of the Central Car Park it would be important to secure an agreement, by way of an option, for Waverley to regain possession of these toilets in the event we wished to proceed with a redevelopment scheme in the future.

Proposal

4. Initial discussions with officers at Farnham Town Council have indicated an interest in attempting to agree an arrangement that will allow for the transfer of public toilets and their provision to the Town Council. The basis of the proposal is that

I. Waverley upgrades the Central and Gostrey toilets

II. Waverley shuts the Hart toilet and replaces it with a customised toilet in the car park

III. The costs of upgrading and replacement are borne in the 2006/07 capital programme

IV. The title of the three toilets is transferred to Farnham Town Council for nil consideration but subject to covenants

V. Waverley revenue grant aids the transfer on a sliding scale for three years at 100%, 50% and 25% of the current cost to the
General Fund, of water and electricity services, and for cleaning and repairs, estimated in 2005/06 to be 18,000.

VI. The toilets are currently included as part of the park / car parks’ rating assessments and therefore this agreement will need careful consideration as to the best way forward for both Councils.

5. Members are reminded that Farnham Town Council has now achieved Quality Council status and has all the necessary attributes and capacities to run this function locally in a top quality manner.

Financial Appraisal:

Capital

Estimated Cost of upgrading Gostrey 1,000
Cost of upgrading Central 30,000
Cost of replacement at the Hart 45,000
_______
Total capital 76,000
_______


Revenue

Current estimated annual cost of cleaning
and repairs for Farnham toilets 18,000

Grant proposed for 2006/07 @ 100% 18,000
Grant proposed for 2007/08 @ 50% 9,000
Grant proposed for 2008/09 @ 25% 4,500

Recommendation:

It is therefore recommended that Officers be authorised to conclude negotiations with Farnham Town Council with a view to achieving the following:-

1. once upgraded at an estimated capital cost of 30,000, the public toilets at the Central Car Park in Farnham, be transferred to Farnham Town Council, subject to an option in Waverley Borough Council’s favour to regain possession in the event of a redevelopment of Central Car Park;

2. the existing provision at the Hart be closed, Gostrey Meadow be refurbished and both buildings be declared surplus to the operational requirement of the Environment and Leisure Department;

3. a new customised toilet be provided in The Hart at an estimated cost of 45,000;

4. the public toilet at Gostrey Meadow be subject to a refurbishment at a cost of 1,000;

5. the new toilet at The Hart and the refurbished toilet at Gostrey Meadow also be transferred to Farnham Town Council, both transfers to be at nil consideration but with appropriate covenants relating to subsequent use; and

6. a three year tapered revenue grant be made to Farnham Town Council, as outlined in this report, in order to facilitate the financial absorption of the revenue costs associated with cleaning and repair of the toilets.

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Background Papers (DoEL)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Peter Maudsley Telephone: 01483 523398

E-mail: pmaudsley@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/exec/2005-06/166