Use them or loos them!

PUBLISHED: 04:05 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:39 24 May 2010

PEOPLE are being urged to use public toilets as Sedgemoor District Council has installed counters in them to record attendance figures. Electronic counters will be placed on the doors of all public conveniences within the district to supply councillors wi

PEOPLE are being urged to use public toilets as Sedgemoor District Council has installed counters in them to record attendance figures.Electronic counters will be placed on the doors of all public conveniences within the district to supply councillors with usage figures. The toilets have been earmarked for closure as part of a massive council cost-cutting programme.Executive members have opened negotiations with parish councils in Mark, Wedmore, Cheddar and Brent Knoll to see if they would take over the running of the facilities.Environment bosses at Sedgemoor District Council admitted the counting devices were open to abuse and said they would be looking at the figures closely.Cheddar Parish Council chairman Peter Lythgoe fears the results may be fixed by people waving their hand in front of the machines in a bid to save their toilet blocks.He said: "Unless you have a sophisticated machine that does not recognise people altering the results then it's open to abuse."This is an emotive issue for parishes as people don't want to be teetering on a knife edge when they need to go to the toilet in villages."Wedmore Parish Council chairman John Sanderson said: "This is the time to use it or lose it. We hope people will use the toilets legitimately and we hope the council realise that the block is needed in Wedmore. Members of the parish council have met with officers about taking over the running costs, but we feel we help ourselves a lot already with other projects."The figures from the public toilets will be used at a district council meeting in October to see which toilets face the axe and where funding for running costs will go if saved.Early indications reveal the toilets in Mark will be condemned as they do not meet health and safety requirements.Councillor Diana Bayliss said: "This is a very important issue for all the parishes in the area. It's not cost effective or accurate to have a council member of staff stand outside toilets recording how many people use them.

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