PEOPLE will be able to ‘spend a penny’ again in Draperstown.
The South Derry town had its public toilets demolished by Magherafelt Council after repeated attacks by vandals.
But now the council has entered into partnership with local businessman Mr Aidan McAuley, who is prepared to make the toilets at his filling station at the Shambles in the centre of the village, available to the general public in return for a consideration on the part of the council.
“It is not proposed that the council would have any responsibility for the maintenance of the facility and there is no intention of entering into a lease with Mr McAuley or accept any liability for the facility,” explained Andrew Cassells, director of operations.
“Members will recall that the council does provide public conveniences in Magherafelt, Maghera, Tobermore, Desertmartin, Castledawson and Newferry all of which are currently the subject of a review under the councils asset strategy.
“In terms of a financial consideration or contribution to the upkeep of the facilities there is no local precedent for this in terms of Public Conveniences.
“The Council does, however, support Community recycling at four locations across the district whereby local community groups receive £1,000 per annum to maintain recycling points.”
Mr Cassells said the pilot scheme could be established on a trial basis for one year and that in consideration or providing public access Mr McAuley would receive a quarterly payment from the council of £250.
Councillor Kate Lagan said she would be glad to see the scheme rolled out as there was a need for a public convenience in the town.
Councillor Brian McGuigan also welcomed the proposal.
He reminded members of the problems there has been with vandalism over a number of years and said that the scheme should be tired as it might work.
He added that there has been a problem with people coming into Draperstown and finding there that there were no public toilets.