MINEHEAD Town Council has set aside £50,000 to refurbish and maintain two major public conveniences.

The council hopes to work with West Somerset Council to refurbish the toilets in Summerland Place and Quay West.

It has also gone one step further to ensure their long-term survival and requested they are listed as assets of community value.

If West Somerset Council cabinet members agree to this on Wednesday, it means should the toilets’ owners decide to sell them for anything other than their existing function, they cannot be put on the open market for six months.

This will give the town counciltime to put together a bid to buy them and ensure two key facilities remain as they are in Minehead.

Mayor of Minehead Cllr Tony Berry said: “We know the district council is short of money, and we know the toilets need refurbishing, so we are hoping to enter into an agreement with West Somerset Council to carry out the work together. We felt that would be the best way to ensure the toilets’ long-term survival.

“The £50,000 is our contribution – the ball is now in their court.

“We have applied for the toilets to be listed as assets of community value to make sure that if we spend all this money, in partnership with the district council, they are protected for the future.

"The town council recognises that the public toilets are a necessity for residents and visitors alike and are vital to the tourist economy of the town centre.

“The public toilets at Summerland Road and Quay West are used throughout the year and are crucial to the economy of businesses near both the sites.

“Many residents and visitors are elderly and consider the public toilets essential and central to the social well-being of the community.”