One of Whitchurch’s Borough Councillors has taken Basingstoke and Deane Council (BDBC) to task over plans to stop funding public toilets in the area.

Cllr Chloe Ashfield says that under current proposals, the Council will no longer fund the £10,000 a year cost to keep open and maintain both of the facilities in Whitchurch and Overton. This cost works out at just over £192 a week for both toilets to be kept running.

Cllr Ashfield asked BDBC’s scrutiny committee if the council was “really that hard up that residents and visitors to Whitchurch and Overton won’t be able to spend a penny after April next year?”

In response, Hannah Golding, BDBC’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Service Improvement, said: “Every budget proposal has to be considered. We are in a position where we’re having to make more difficult decisions year on year and it’s a case of prioritising frontline services.

“So for the toilets, I think it’s a case that if the town council wants to take that over, that’s the sort of discussions we can have. Obviously if there are people already doing maintenance activities in the local area of Whitchuch then that’s going to be a more cost-effective way of doing it.”

The proposals come as BDBC faces a £6.6 million funding gap in 2023 to 2024 as funding from national government is changed.

Cllr Ashfield said that Whitchurch Town Council and Overton Parish Council “have been offered the opportunity to take over the management” of the facilities. A decision by these councils is yet to be made.

The public toilet in Whitchurch is located next to Bell Street Car Park, while that in Overton is located on Winchester Street next to the community centre and pharmacy.

Cllr Ashfield was contacted for further comment.