PUBLIC toilets matter to the people of Marlborough, says the town council, which has moved in to take over the George Lane public loos after Wiltshire Council closed the doors there on Friday (Apr 1).

The decision means the town's other public toilet block, on Chantry Lane, will be closed, and the land sold to provide money to pay the £20,000 a year running costs of the George Lane toilets, and also improvements to the toilet block.

FOLLOWING the closure of the George Lane car park public toilets, Marlborough Town Council has decided to save the toilets by selling the conveniences in Chantry Lane.

Currently, there is no funding to provide toilet provision at George Lane, which closed on Friday (April 1) and with existing running costs for the building at just under £20,000 per year and no significant investment made at the site for many years, Town Councillors have decided to sell its public conveniences at Chantry Lane and use the proceeds to upgrade the George Lane site.

Town Mayor, Coun Margaret Rose, said: “Although there will be no public conveniences at George Lane for a short time whilst we raise the funds through the sale of our own toilets at Chantry Lane, this is a real chance to upgrade the town’s facilities.

“We are discussing renovations that might include not only new and better toilet provision but possibly a small Tourist Information Point and a coach driver’s rest room, which all fits in with aspirations to become a Coach Friendly Town.”

Town and parish councils were asked earlier this year if they wanted to take on some public toilets in their areas, including George Lane, after Wiltshire Council said it would stop funding them.

Coun Rose said: “Following the closure of public toilets by Wiltshire Council, the Town Council feels that it’s right to safeguard those at George Lane through a community asset transfer and will be using the proceeds of the sale of the Chantry Lane toilets to raise funds to make much needed improvements to them.”

"Though the service provision is not a statutory duty, the town council recognises the importance of providing these facilities to its residents and visitors and has decided to take on the building."

Shelley Parker, Marlborough town clerk, said: “Now that the community asset transfer is finalised for George Lane, the next move is to look at the marketing and sale of the Chantry Lane site. At this stage, we have no idea of what the toilet block might be used for after its sold.”

Devizes Town Council also voted to save the town’s public toilets from closure earlier this year after Wiltshire Council announced all of its public conveniences would be closed at the beginning of April unless other organisations took them on, and Corsham Town Council has acted to save toilets in its town centre.

For more information contact Shelley Parker, Marlborough Town Clerk, on 01672 512 487 or via email at