COUNCILLORS and a community organisation are at odds over the lack of toilet facilities at Burry Port Harbour.
Friends Of Burry Port Harbour issued a statement calling the lack of public toilets in a tourist area ‘shameful’ and ’embarrassing’.
The group claim that ‘children have to resort to going to the toilet in the sand dunes or hide behind rocks for some sort of privacy’.
The post on the Friends of Burry Port Harbour Facebook page states: “This must surely result in putting the general public at risk of infection including the current Covid 19 pandemic which would be unthinkable.
“Surely Carmarthenshire County Council should have had the decency and common sense to at least provide temporary toilets rather than leave our harbour and beaches with this disgraceful total lack of facilities.
“After all, it was the County Council who took the public toilets away in the first instance and gave the hard-standing base that they were on to the Marine Group to erect their own new toilet/shower block for the company’s exclusive use, leaving the general public with absolutely nothing.
“This has gone on for far, far too long – how is Carmarthenshire County Council being continually allowed to treat the community of Burry Port with such arrogance and disdain, we pay for our County Council services and representatives but get little in return.”
In a joint statement issued by County Councillors Amanda Fox and John James (A reply to Friends of Burry Port Harbour) the councillors said:
“We presented a well supported petition that we set up to Carmarthenshire County Council . We both feel that public toilets are a necessity and are desperately needed at Burry Port Harbour. The outcome is enclosed below .
“At Present the Executive Board from The County Council are in discussions with Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council regarding an offer of land to the Town Council .
“The chair of Friends of Burry Port Harbour is a Town Councillor and should be aware of this offer .
“Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board has agreed to offer Burry Port Town Council land suitable for toilets in Burry Port Harbour if it feels additional facilities are needed.
“Executive Board met previously to discuss a petition organised by county councillors John James and Amanda Fox in July to reinstate toilets at the east side of the harbour.
“The toilets, near the former Lifeboat Station , were removed by the council due to health and safety issues.
“Executive board member for leisure, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said: “There are toilets on the west side. We are in discussions with the town council and can offer help in providing suitable land so they can run them. We hope we can work together on this.”
“The council’s executive board member for environment, Cllr Hazel Evans, said: “There are other toilets in our communities where the town council or organisations have taken responsibility and run them.”
Today we have launched a petition asking the Town Council to take the County up on their offer of Land and provide the toilets
“We totally agree with the sentiment of the post that Carmarthenshire County Council show little respect to Burry Port, and the Harbour Toilets is the perfect example of this disrespect and we’ve made our feelings clear to the Chief Executive of the County Council. When the toilets were taken away, we organised a petition to reinstate these toilets and had the support of Town Councillors.
“We then took the petition to a County Council Meeting which was heated and emotive, but the Executive Board didn’t want to know, and we lost the vote. We couldn’t have done more. The County Council then wrote to Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council offering land for the Town Council to put its own toilets on, THIS WAS OVER A YEAR AGO, and still nothing’s changed.
“Burry Port Harbour needs toilets and if Friends of Burry Port Harbour, Town Councillors and the residents of Burry Port genuinely feel the same as we do, we will work together to get these toilets.
“This is why we have launched a petition today that respectfully requests the Town Council to accept the offer of the land and install and maintain toilets there. By supporting this petition, residents and visitors alike will give direction to the Town Council that this is the right option to take. The County Council WILL NOT CHANGE ITS MIND, therefore we as a COMMUNITY need to PULL TOGETHER and WORK TOGETHER to get what’s right for Burry Port.”