How much money to spend a penny?

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CALLS have been made to cap the price private companies will be able to charge if they take over Scarborough’s public toilets.

Scarborough Council are investigating entering into a partnership which would see an outside supplier run the town’s 10 lavatories.

If the move goes ahead, it could save the council £750,000 a year.

Cllr Colin Challen, who represents the Castle Ward area, raised concerns that private suppliers could charge too much to use the toilets.

He said they should be able to charge no more than 20p and hopes that some toilets in strategically placed locations will remain free to the public.

Cllr Challen said: “When people come to Scarborough they expect the best facilities, and of course that is our aim, but we have to balance that with the need to maintain accessibility.

“My fear is that for a private operator to make a go of it and make a profit, they are going to charge as much as they can get away with.

“There are groups such as pensioners who need accessible public toilets, and they may not be able to afford high charges.

“There is also the danger that some people, if they have to pay, would simply nip round the corner, so to speak. There is evidence in the harbour area that this already happens.”

A contract for providing and managing public toilets in Scarborough could be awarded by May next year.