Diss Town Council (DTC) welcomes the District Council’s reminder of the commitments made by both DTC and South Norfolk Council (SNC) in 2015. If given the opportunity, DTC will fulfil its obligation to take on responsibility for the Mere’s Mouth toilets when SNC has fulfilled its obligations under the same agreement.

The Town Council’s April decision was based solely on revised proposals put forward by SNC. This return to our mutual obligations made in 2015, effectively nullifies that April decision. The situation is further complicated by the existence of a lease between SNC & the landowner (Diss Parochial Charities).

SNC gave £400,000 towards the construction in the Heritage Triangle. The conditions of the money being granted were that it could only be spent on the Heritage Triangle project and required public toilets to be provided in the Cornhall and the tourist Information office to be moved from its kiosk site.

The Town Council has been budgeting for the maintenance of the Mere’s Mouth toilets with the full intention of fulfilling its obligations.

Two surveys commissioned by SNC lead them to conclude that their £80,000 budget was insufficient to rectify the identified structural problems and in their view the buildings were best demolished. DTC was offered the £80,000 to take on the refurbishment at their own risk. However, given that the experts at SNC had not identified the additional costs involved and were not prepared to take on the risk themselves, DTC concluded it was not appropriate to put that burden on the taxpayers of Diss.

We would be happy to meet with Kay Mason-Billig to clarify the points where she feels there is confusion and to move the process forward. We do feel it is high time that the community in Diss, including our MP, were made aware of the facts surrounding the Mere’s Mouth toilets.

DTC is very happy to “face up to its responsibilities” as Richard Bacon says. Perhaps he could also urge SNC to do the same.

Note

The full details of the 2015 agreement are available under a Freedom of Information request and DTC urges any interested parties to obtain a copy this way.

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