Monday 23 September 2013

A Bum Deal

The row about Carmarthenshire County Council's plans to shut down most of its public lavatories ("not a statutory responsibility") has been rumbling on for ages, and may well soon replace wind turbines as the main topic of debate in the letters pages of the local press.

Here in Newcastle Emlyn we were fortunate to have two sets of public loos. At one end of town the Town Council operates the toilets in Cawdor Hall (commonly known as the "Clock Tower"). They will remain open at least until renovation work begins on that building.

At the other end of town, next to the livestock mart and at one end of the main car park, the County Council will close the public toilets for good from today.

Bad luck for any locals or visitors who are caught short, and potentially disastrous for customers of the livestock mart held in town twice a week.

Like the mart's customers, Cneifiwr grew up on a farm, and it was always easier just to whip out your tackle and relieve yourself in the yards or fields as necessary, rather than traipse back to the house and, in Cneifiwr's case, face the wrath of a houseproud mother who would often insist on a strip wash with a bucket of water, scrubbing brush and Fairy Liquid in the garden before allowing so much as a toe to cross the threshold.

As it happens, the doomed toilets are on land leased to the mart's operators, auctioneers Dai Lewis.

There has been periodic friction between some of the town's traders and residents on the one hand, and the mart's operators on the other. Matters were not improved a few years back when the county council negotiated a new lease with Dai Lewis which saw the mart operator take over a chunk of the busy public car park.

The dire state of the car park, with its rapidly escalating parking charges, frustrated shoppers and the presence in town twice a week of large numbers of cattle lorries and 4x4s with trailers are not an ideal mix, but like everything else in life, a bit of give and take can work wonders.

So you would think that the county council might have used its good offices to point out to the auctioneers that they have benefited from a generous deal, and a financial contribution to enable the toilets to remain open would be good not just for the mart's customers, but also a goodwill gesture towards the town.

If there were such pleas, they fell on deaf ears.

Ladies of a nervous disposition shopping in Newcastle Emlyn have been warned, although Cneifiwr's money is on the mart installing some portaloos and sticking two fingers up at the town.


Anonymous said...

Yet another reason to avoid Newcastle Emlyn. Thanks for the heads up, or should it be heads down?

towy71 said...

or in navy parlance "no heads" CCC are such a load of cr*p, makes you want to flush the lot away ;-)

Cneifiwr said...

That's a pity because the town is a very nice place to visit.

Anonymous said...

Hold it!!
Are the council taking the piss?
We'll all have to go to County Hall to spend a penny.....