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You wont be able to spend a penny here anymore as council looks to save £8,750

PUBLISHED: 12:38 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:52 07 February 2018

The alleyway underneath the Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth. Photo: George Ryan

The alleyway underneath the Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth. Photo: George Ryan

Archant

A money-saving bid to shut a town centre toilet block in Great Yarmouth has run into opposition.

The alleyway underneath the Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth. Photo: George RyanThe alleyway underneath the Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth. Photo: George Ryan

Councillor Chris Walch has tagged as “ludicrous” the proposal to shut the amenity at Market Gates, saving an estimated £8,750.

Mr Walch, who represents the Central and Northgate ward, is calling for a wider debate before the final decision is taken with locals having their say and other options explored.

He said the proposal was among a raft of money-saving options put to the powerful policy and resources committee.

And while he hailed most of them as sensible he called for an amendment to have the issue sent back to the relevant committee, but received no support.

He said his only chance now was to try again when it comes to full council where he could rely on the backing of fellow UKIP group members.

The move follows an earlier proposal to put gates at either end of the alley to stop people using arches in the old town wall as a toilet and to deter general anti-social behaviour.

MORE:Alleyway could be fenced and gated off to stop people using historic town wall as a toilet

Mr Walch believes closing the toilets could harm the town centre, just as it needed a boost.

He said: “I had them steam cleaned three or four times over the summer because the arches were being used as a toilet and I did ask if they could gate off them off.

“The proposal to gate the alley I did agree with. Closure was not mentioned in these meetings and the next thing we know it has come under policy and resources.

“At the end of the day we are still a holiday town and when people get off the buses they tend to want to go to the toilet. The thinking is that because the ones at the Conge have been refurbished there is no need for that one.”

Although the toilets needed improvements and only a handful of cubicles were ever open there was a case for more debate, he said, adding: “I strongly believe that the people of Great Yarmouth should know about this and on something as important as this there should be some sort of feed back to the public.”

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