Local councils to save thousand of pounds on public toilets
- Credit: Peter Wilkinson
Local councils are set to save thousand of pounds on public toilets after a bill to get rid of business rate charges on them was passed.
Breckland councillor Peter Wilkinson, who was among the campaigners lobbying for business rates on toilet buildings to be removed, has expressed his delight in the new law.
He said savings across councils in England and Wales will be tens of millions of pounds.
West Norfolk Council estimated it would save around £27,130 in the change, with the savings for Breckland Council expected to be smaller.
And Mr Wilkinson said it would offer town councils such as Swaffham, Dereham and Thetford a "lifeline to help keep toilets open."
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Mr Wilkinson, who was Norfolk representative on the National Association of Local Councils, lobbied the Government to secure business rate relief on public toilet buildings run or owned by local authorities, drumming up support from local representatives.
NALC's campaign came to a successful end after the Non-Domestic Rating (Public Lavatories) bill was given Royal Assent in April.
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Mr Wilkinson said: "I was so proud of my part in securing this new national policy, and I would like to thank National ALC for the opportunity to see this to a successful conclusion, as well as serving my Breckland Ward constituents."
He thanked South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss for her dialogue with the Treasury, saying the MP kept the motion going.
Sir Henry Bellingham, Keith Simpson, MP Scott Mann, MP Richard Holden, and MP Cheriliyn Mackrory also backed the campaign.
The Breckland councillor said: "The Chancellor indicated that the business rate relief would be backdated to April 2020, I hope this will happen as soon as possible.
"I would ask local councils across England and Wales to ringfence this monetary savings to make sure that they keep toilets open and fit for public use."
He added that it was important for the public to know that decisions made by the Government "sometimes start at a local level."