TWO closed public toilets in Middlewich could be handed over for the town council to consider giving a new lease of life.

Cheshire East Council has offered Middlewich Town Council the chance to take on both the facilities at Southway and Leadsmithy Street as community assets.

While the facilities could be passed over for a tiny price, they would cost Middlewich Town Council a large sum of money to renovate.

Cllr Mike Hunter, chairman of Middlewich Town Council, told the Guardian: "CEC has already said that if we don't take them on they will go to auction, and someone could buy it to rent out as a kiosk.

"We are going to speak to CEC. We need to know if we are taking them on whether we would get any help doing them up.

"Yes we might get the toilets for £1, for a peppercorn payment, but those toilets definitely need doing up and it all comes down to money."

If the price is right and town councillors decide to revive one of the toilet blocks following discussions with CEC, Southway is more likely to be brought back to use.

But members believe taking on the Leadsmithy Street facilities is just as important, because the publicly-owned land has been eyed up for development near the Town Wharf in previous years.

"If anybody puts an application in it would give us a say in what is going on there," Cllr Hunter added.

Middlewich Town Council is also considering taking the garage on the Civic Way car park off CEC's hands, while the Booth Lane allotments will be transferred over too.

At last week's meeting, where the issue was discussed, Cllr Dave Latham said: "I'm all for getting as many assets as we can and making the council rich in assets – but at the right kind of cost.

"Ultimately, We are only funded by the public. There is no point in having things costing us money and not seeing any benefit."

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Cllr Pauline Hickey added: "They are vitally important facilities for the people who use the town and the canals.

"To let them go – who knows what will happen to them if someone else gets their hands on them?"

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