THE cost of spending a penny at Pembrokeshire’s pay-to-use public toilets could double if a proposal before Pembrokeshire county council’s cabinet is given the go-ahead.

The council contracts Danfo (UK) Ltd to maintain 72 public toilets in the county, 12 of which are recharged to town or community councils, and 10 are currently charged at 20 pence to use.

The current 20p charge nets some £100,000, with Danfo retaining the first £45,000, with any additional income paid to the county council.

As part of the council’s 10 year contract with Danfo, running to July 2024, the company is investing £400,000 in the public toilet stock.

It is now proposed to increase this cost to 40 pence.

A report for members of the Monday’s January 14 meeting of the cabinet states there is no statutory requirement for local authorities to provide public toilets; with the proposed increase mooted to further contribute towards cleaning and maintenance contract, to help prevent future closures, and to ensure money is available for future investment.

A needs assessment consultation, carried out from September-November 2018, and, out of 450 respondents, 77 per cent panned the suggestion of an increase to 40p, with just 10 per cent in favour.

The report for members states an increase to 30p would generate an extra income of £50,000 and 40p £100,000.

The latter figure would be split with £55,000 towards the contract cost and £45,000 for future investment.

It is recommended the cost of the 10 pay-to-use toilets increases to 40p.