We’re not flush with cash warn Spa councillors

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Woodhall Spa Parish Council’s plans to avoid an increase in its share of council tax bills next year could go down the pan - literally.

It has been revealed the council is considering taking over the public toilets in the village.

Councillors are talking to their counterparts at East Lindsey District Council about a deal for the toilets - and also ownership of Royal Square.

If a deal can’t be agreed, it has emerged ELDC could close the toilets as a cost-cutting measure.

Parish councillors admit that would be a blow to the village’s important tourist industry.

However, parish council chairman David Clarke has confirmed there would be “financial implications” - if they take over the toilets.

And, he confessed that could have an impact on council tax bills.

He said any business rates and maintenance costs for the toilets - and Royal Square - would have to come out of the council budget.

Coun Clarke warned ELDC that the parish council would only take over the two facilities - if the deal made “financial sense.”

He described ELDC’s initial deal for Royal Squad as “ridiculous.”

Speaking at a parish council meeting last week, he said: “We have made our case to ELDC.

“They know exactly what our position is.

“We are not going to rush into something that will incur hefty financial costs. It has got to stack up.””

Coun Clarke admitted the council wanted the toilets to remain open - but not at any price.

Councillors discussed their budget for next year.

It is expected the parish precept will rise to around £59,000 - largely because of an expected 32 per cent reduction in the annual rate support grant from ELDC.

The precept in 2014 was £53,000 and councillors suggested covering the £6,000 increase from their reserves.

However, they agreed extra costs involving the toilets and Royal Square could have an impact on their budget which will be finalised early in the New Year.