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Spending a penny costs Council €75k on two toilets

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Date Published: 19-May-2011

BY CAROLINE WHELAN

Galway County Council is paying a private company €75,000 a year to maintain two public toilets – which between them bring in just over €1,000 a year.

The Council charges 50c to use either of the two single unisex automated facilities, located in Vicar Street in Tuam and in the Fairgreen in Loughrea, and the revenue taken in for both toilets since they were installed in 2007 amounts to little over €5,000.

But the local authority has revealed that each facility costs €37,500 per annum to maintain. The self flushing units are cleaned on a daily basis and it’s ensured that they are always stocked with toilet paper and soap. It’s also estimated that a superloo can cost anything up to €100,000 to install, factoring in the initial cost of plumbing, sewerage and electrical services on top of the facility itself.

Councillor Bridie Willers who represents the Loughrea Electoral area, described the cost as ‘ludicrous’, and said it was time the Council revisited the contract.

“I will be making further inquiries about this. The income the facilities is generating is very small. It’s an absurd figure for maintenance; it makes no sense whatsoever, we have to go back to the drawing board here. You would imagine that if that contract was put out to tender again, there would be many local contractors who would snap it up and be prepared to do the work at a more reasonable rate,” she said.

But the Ardrahan based councillor acknowledged the individual units are extremely expensive to acquire.

“We had hoped that they would be partially self financing but that has obviously not been the case. There is absolutely no point closing them down for the money they cost to construct in the first place, but I would expect that the price to maintain them would be considerably less. We’re in straightened times and every penny that can be saved must be saved,” she said.

With regards to public conveniences in Galway city, the city council has also tendered out the maintenance work to a private company that is used by 90 local authorities around the country. The local authority is shelling out €137,000 for the maintence of eleven superloos at five different locations.

There are seven public toilets around Salthill with a number of units located in Blackrock, Ladies Beach and Palmers Rock and in the city there are facilities at the Millennium Park on University Road and in Eyre Square. There is a charge of 20 cent to use the amenities and on average they bring in around €16,000 per annum in revenue.

 

A City Council spokesperson said the superloos are an essential service that the council must provide to the public. He believed it was mostly tourists using the conveniences and that they would tend to be used a lot more during the summer, he also added that to provide a ‘good, clean, efficient service, it will cost you’.

The City Council’s ten year maintenance contract for the units expire this year and asked if he thought the above figure represented good value for the taxpayer, the city council spokesperson said the authority ‘always seeks to obtain good value for money’.

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.

It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.

Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores

This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.

However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.

That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.

The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing

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Date Published: 13-May-2013

Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.

Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.

He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.

Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.

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