Councillor taking a stand for toilets

"We're a tourist town and we should have them available," is Waitaki district councillor Peter Garvan's reaction to a proposal to close several public toilets in Oamaru.

The council, in its draft annual plan, is proposing to close the lower Thames St (next to The Last Post restaurant), Seven St, Awamoa Park and Oamaru Gardens main toilets to save almost $50,000 a year.

Public consultation will be held before any decision is made.

However, Cr Garvan yesterday said he believed the council would hear "quite a reaction" against that.

He based that on the "very strong public reaction" from people who had already contacted him.

"Some of these are people who have not commented on issues before, and they've all been 100% against."

The council in its 2010-11 draft annual plan proposed to close the toilets from July 1.

Cr Garvan said he opposed that, and would do so again when it came up for a final vote.

He said the proposal to close the main toilets in the Oamaru Gardens, near the gardens' office and next to its works yard, was in a different category.

That toilet was to be replaced with new toilets for the whole gardens.

"But I find it incredible that moves can be made to close the other three toilets without more information," he said.

Before the council made any final decisions, it should have a breakdown of the annual costs, including what was maintenance and what was vandalism, as well as use, he said.


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