Guest Author MIKE WARD , former SBC Councillor [Ind.], offer his (unabridged) comments on the imprudence of Whitby Town Council.
Whitby Town Council Caught Short
Has Whitby once again been taken to the cleaners by SBC?
They have persuaded the Whitby Town Council to take on the responsibility for maintaining our public toilets – an essential service for which SBC should be responsible.
Who at WTC evaluated the business plan for such a scheme? And will they be caught short? Meaning a future increase in the Parish Precept?
SBC collects large amounts of money from tourists, residents and local businesses but it is now for the Town Council to look after the public conveniences.
In Scarborough the toilets are run by SBC, with the residents of Whitby contributing to that cost.
Raising the price of entry to 40p might seem, to a deluded few, a way to make money – but beware.
When the price was raised to 20p, the numbers using the facilities declined considerably – but the basic cost of cleaning, etc, remained.
Public toilets should be provided from revenues already going to SBC.
Are the Marina toilets still under the control of SBC?
Those toilets are currently free to use, as are those at the Spa; so bus companies will surely alert many tourists to this fact.
A more simple solution, first suggested 10 years ago, might have been to add a nominal sum to all car parking charges – say 5p – and ring-fence that money to provide the required facilities.
Whitby residents are now paying twice to maintain the essential services in our Town. They are paying their Community Charge to SBC to provide essential services – i.e. toilets – and their Parish Precept to WTC, who now have taken over that responsibility.
In the future it could be considerably more. Will there be a need for more staff to oversee this dubious commitment, will running/maintenance costs increase, etc, etc?
The Town Council is funded by the monies raised through the Parish Precept.
They can raise the levy as they see fit, so if the cost of providing public conveniences increases it will most certainly raise the Precept accordingly.
The residents of Scarborough, on the other hand, have no Parish Precept but get exactly the same services at less personal cost.
SBC, by transferring public conveniences to the Whitby Town Council, have reduced their Whitby overheads, got rid of a headache and saved monies being allocated to Whitby.
SBC, with the help of our local Town Councillors, can now use the revenues raised in this town to re-invest in Scarborough.