Council plans to spend a penny - and then some more - on new Kettering public toilets

They would be installed and maintained by Kettering Town Council

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 10:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 10:14 am
New public toilets are set to be installed.

New permanent public loos are set to be installed in Kettering' s town centre under a council's plan to improve facilities.

For a number of years shoppers who were caught short had to either pay to use a toilet in the Newlands Shopping Centre or pop to a supermarket or McDonald's.

Last year during the first Covid wave the former Kettering Borough Council installed temporary loos at the top of Meadow Road, which have remained open since. But the toilet block is due to be removed before the end of this financial year when new public realm is constructed as part of the Heritage Action Zone.

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And with the move set to reduce the number of available toilets in the town centre Kettering Town Council is planning to spend a penny - and then some more - on new permanent facilities as part of an 'ambitious budget'.

Their budget for 2022-23 includes spending £40,000 on new toilets and £35,000 on maintenance. Where they would be located has not yet been confirmed. The council is hoping to agree a site or site shortlist with North Northamptonshire Council over the next couple of weeks. It is likely the installation would need planning permission.

The overall council budget is £324,830, up from this year's budget of £134,000 which was set by Kettering Borough Council.

It will see the council's precept rise from £8.21 for a band D property - the lowest parish precept in north Northamptonshire - to £19.53.

Each additional £1,000 of expenditure by the council increases the precept by about 6p a year for each household. It is likely that a £19.53 precept will still be among the lowest in north Northamptonshire next year.

Kettering Town Council say that, after a careful start, they are now looking to make a difference to the town with a range of projects which will help boost the economy, improve the environment, and improve local facilities as well as support groups and residents with events, grant aid and advice.

They include a community lottery to raise money for local good causes, £47,500 for events and speciality markets throughout the year and £25,000 for new grant programmes for local groups and organisations.

The budget also includes a £20,000 fund to renew or provide new facilities - from litter bins to bus shelters to play equipment and anything in between - £3,000 for the planting of new trees and £7,000 to support community resilience such as helping to recover from Covid, supporting the levelling up agenda and becoming more sustainable

The council is now looking for feedback on its ideas and is asking for people’s views by January 16 ahead of it making a final decision on January 19. The council has also published its first corporate plan, which sets out what it is about as a council and how it hopes to improve Kettering for its residents. This too is up for consultation.

Cllr Lloyd Bunday, leader of the town council, said: “I am excited to offer up this budget for people’s views.

"It reflects what people have been telling councillors they want to see for some time, and what we heard about on the doorstep during the election in May.

"All political groups on the council fully support this ambitious and affordable budget which I hope will make a visible difference to our town during 2022.”

Town clerk, Martin Hammond, said: "We invite anyone to go on to our website - www.ketteringtowncouncil.gov.uk - have a look at both the budget and plan and let us know what you think."

To have your say click here or email [email protected] by January 16 next year.