Public toilets to shut as Aldwick Parish Council cuts funding

Public toilets at the award-winning Marine Park Gardens will close following the unexpected and complete withdrawal of funding from Aldwick Parish Council.

Arun District Council has been forced to instruct its contractors to close the buildings after the parish council withdrew its partnership funding earlier this year.

The district council has been subsidising the opening of the toilets in the Green Flag gardens at Marine Drive West, Aldwick, since the council was informed of the decision, applicable from April this year.

However, it now faces a budget shortfall of £7,500.

Arun’s cabinet member for the environment, councillor Paul Dendle, said: “We met some of the shortfall to keep the facilities open over the summer, but this is not sustainable.

“Nearly all the toilets in Arun are provided in partnership with the town and parish councils, an arrangement that has been ongoing and successful for many years.

“I was really very disappointed when Aldwick decided to withdraw from these long-standing and important arrangements and it is unfortunate its decision has resulted in us having to close the public toilets in Marine Park Gardens.

“We are simply not in a position to meet this shortfall ourselves and to do so would be unfair to our other partners and the rest of the taxpayers of Arun who ultimately would foot the bill.

“I value highly the partnership support or arrangements in place with the remaining town and parish councils.”

Despite the closure of Marine Park Gardens, other toilets in Aldwick will remain open.

This includes the toilets at West Park, West Meads and Avisford Park, which are partly funded each by the district council and Aldwick Parish Council.

The parish council released a statement on Tuesday about the toilet closure.

It said: “Aldwick Parish Council is very disappointed to learn about the decision taken by Arun District Council concerning the closure of the public toilets at Marine Park Gardens.

“The parish council are very pleased to hear that Arun District Council have stated that the toilets in West Park, West Meads and Avisford Park will remain open.”

There is an 18-hole putting green at Marine Park Gardens, which sits right on the seafront.

There is also a fountain, a cafe, and children’s play area near West Park. The park has achieved a silver gilt in the South and South East in Bloom Awards 2010/11 and a Green Flag award in 2011.