REOPENING the toilets at Winsford Cross, making them fully accessible and keeping vandals away from them could cost up to £30,000, councillors have been told.

The toilets were closed in February 2016 having been hit by vandalism, drug-taking and anti-social behaviour.

A notice written by Stewart Porter, then-centre manager at Winsford Cross, told customers that it was 'no longer commercially viable' to keep the toilets open 'in the face of the long-term destructive actions of the public'.

Winsford Cross is now owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council, and is set to be transformed as part of wider regeneration plans for the town.

“It’s clear that public toilets are important to town centre visitors," said Labour Cllr Nathan Pardoe, chairman of CWAC's Winsford regeneration committee.

"Council officers and cabinet members are working hard to find a sustainable solution."

The toilets had been expected to partially reopen in 2017 following pressure from councillors and residents.

But they do not meet the legal requirements for disability access – with grab handles and emergency pull cords needed – while there is only a baby changing facility in the women's toilet.

Meanwhile, the biggest expense would be to keep the toilets clean, maintained and monitored to prevent vandalism.

Cllr Malcolm Gaskill, Liberal Democrat member for Swanlow, looked at the facilities with CWAC officers last week to see what work needs to be done.

He said: "CWAC is not prepared to spend huge sums on it, but if they spent a couple of thousand they could at least bring it up to the legal standard.

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"Alternatively, CWAC should put some proper signage up to say that public toilets are available at the library, Dingle Centre or Wyvern House.

Cllr Mike Baynham, Conservative member for Over and Verdin, said: “Even if it does not cost that much initially, it could be £10,000 to £15,000 annually for maintenance.

“There is a big question as to whether we want to spend that on maintaining those toilets every year or whether to put that money to use getting Winsford sorted out.”