Public outcry about sanitation in Teignmouth is not new.
By the middle of the nineteenth century Teignmouth was enjoying fresh, good quality water through the construction of a reservoir in Landscore Road fed from the catchment of the Haldon hills above. But this came at a price and this was the introduction of a water ‘tax’.
Meanwhile the river Tame was still running through town via Lower Brook Street and was virtually an open smelly sewer. People living in that area would get their water by just dipping into the stream. When the stream was covered over people were given a public stand-pipe, free of charge, essentially to compensate for their loss of ancient rights of usage. This resulted in a situation where 90% of the population were having to pay for fresh water whilst 10% were getting it for free.
(Source: The Journal of Teign Heritage No.77, Spring 2008)
Fast forward 160 years and water is again at the heart of public debate. This time it’s the provision of public loos. With cutbacks in government spending pressure is being put on local councils to reduce spending and the provision of public toilets is one of the targets for cutback.
In Teignmouth there is a proposal to close three out of the five public toilets as part of Teignbridge District Council’s plan to save £150,000 a year. These are Brunswick Street, Eastcliffe and, ironically, Lower Brook Street.
So what do you do with a closed down loo? Well, a year ago was a story in the Independent about loos in London being sold for half-a-million pounds and being converted into cafes.
Check it out here
Do we need more cafes in Teignmouth?