SPENDING a penny is becoming more difficult as public loos are being closed and for those that are open, it usually costs at least 20 pence.

Powys County Council (PCC) is holding a three month consultation, starting on Monday, January 14, before finalising the Local Toilet Strategy for Powys,

The decision to start the consultation was approved by portfolio holder for economy and planning, Cllr Martin Weale, and portfolio holder for highways, recycling and assets, Cllr Phyl Davies, under delegated powers.

In the autumn of 2018 an online survey on toilets was held which received 127 responses.

A series of focus group meetings were also held in October and November.

They felt that toilets needed to be promoted within town centres.

They also believed that "good quality publicly accessible toilets are important to the visitor economy in Powys".

PCC currently owns and maintains only two public conveniences in the whole county.

These are at the Brecon and Ystradgynlais Transport Interchanges.

In recent years a total of 56 public conveniences have been transferred from other organisations.

Although the Public Health Act, 1936, gives local authorities powers to provide toilets, the provision of public conveniences is not a statutory duty,

Powys County Council says that giving the toilets away to other organisations was to save money and The British Toilet Association (BTA) estimating that 40 per-cent of the UKs toilets have closed in the last 10 years.

The strategy which is in draft form at the moment is an expectation from the Welsh Government

Part 8 of the Public Health Wales Act,  which came into force on May 2018,  expects each county council in Wales to prepare and publish a local toilets strategy for its area.

Local authorities in Wales are responsible for:

Assessing the need for toilet provision for their communities;

Plan to meet those needs;

Produce a local toilets strategy

Review the strategy, update and publicise revisions.

It is expected  that The Welsh Government will collect all the information and produce a digital map and app so that people can find out where the nearest public toilets are at the touch of a button.

After the consultation, Powys County Council will consider all the comments received and amend the strategy as needs.

It needs to be approved by the council and then is expected to come into force by June 2019.

To take part in the consultation, visit  www.powys.gov.uk/haveyoursay; you could email consultation@powys.gov.uk or in writing to: Powys Local Toilet Strategy, Planning Policy, Powys County Council, The Gwalia,Ithon Road, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 6AA.