Morecambe prom toilets to return by public demand

Darren Clifford, Chairman of Morecambe Town Council at the site of the former Dome in Morecambe
Darren Clifford, Chairman of Morecambe Town Council at the site of the former Dome in Morecambe

Public toilets will reopen near The Dome site for the first time in seven years.

The loos on the seafront will be open on certain weekends and bank holidays- hopefully starting some time later this year.

There was a public outcry after the toilets shut down in 2009 due to Lancaster City Council cuts.

But Morecambe Town Council has announced plans to bring them back. This comes after a residents survey revealed public loos was their number one priority for improving the town.

The toilets will cost 20p to use and will only be open at weekends and bank holidays between the months of April and October.

The plans were revealed as Morecambe Town Council unveiled its budget for 2016/17.

“The budget covers most of the things people wanted us to do,” said Councillor Darren Clifford, chairman of the town council.

“And we’re going to do them with no extra money from council tax. Everything we’re doing is giving people in the Morecambe Town Council area extra on top of what they are getting (from Lancaster City Council).”

The town council will also pay for a dedicated traffic warden-style enforcement officer to dish out fines for dog fouling and litter in Morecambe.

Money has also been set aside to look into alternative uses for Morecambe Town Hall, should Lancaster City Council decide to move out as part of a multi-million pound cost-cutting drive. The town council will also pay for a new bandstand/performance area at Happy Mount Park and has increased its festival grants budget to £65,000 for the year.

But the annual funding for Police Community Support Officers in Morecambe has been halved. All attending Labour councillors, as well as Morecambe Bay Independent Linda Page and UKIP councillor Michelle Ogden voted for the budget at a meeting on Thursday. An alternative budget, proposed by MBI councillor Roger Dennison, was 
defeated. This suggested £20,000 be spent on toilets including a new loo between VVV and the Clock Tower, and £10,000 less on festivals, with £20,000 extra going into a contingency fund should the town council need a new office in future due to uncertainty over the town hall’s future. Coun Dennison’s budget would have generated a £28,000 surplus for special projects. Morecambe Town Council was set up in 2009 as a separate entity to Lancaster City Council. As a parish council, it has fewer powers and responsibilities than the city council but can spend money raised through part of council tax on improving Morecambe.

MORECAMBE TOWN COUNCIL BUDGET 2016/17

Staffing and admin costs £58,520

Community grants £5,000

Litter picks £500

Morecambe In Bloom contest £1,500

Bank charges £200

Training costs £500

Remembrance Sunday wreath, community award costs £600

Community events £500

Youth council £1,000

Festival grants £65,000

PCSOs £33,804

Christmas lights £6,200

Contribution to reserves £10,000

Office fund £55,000 (contingency for a possible new Morecambe Town Council office if required)

Toilets £44,000

Upgrade of Morecambe War Memorial £10,000

Environmental Enforcement

Officer to tackle dog fouling and litter £11,000

Election costs £6,000

Asset Replacement Fund (contingency in case town council assets such as computers or Christmas lights need repairing or replacing) £10,000

Consultation on future of Morecambe Town Hall £2,000

*Morecambe Town Council will receive £183,348.49 from council tax this year