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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 March, 2004, 13:13 GMT
Council set to axe public toilets
Shepway District Council offices
Public toilets across Shepway could close to make savings
Public toilets across Shepway could close in a move to cut a planned 39% council tax hike.

Councillors are also set to consider savings in the authority's tourism and arts budgets and parks could be mown less often to save 674,000.

The drastic action is being discussed by councillors on Thursday.

Any decision will have to be approved by Nick Raynsford, local government minister. Shepway includes Tory leader Michael Howard's constituency.

It's fairly drastic action
Shepway council spokesman

The council said all 26 toilets could be closed across towns including Folkestone, Hythe, New Romney and Dymchurch.

The Liberal Democrat-controlled authority decided to reduce the rise, originally one of the highest in the country, to 28.9% last week after threats of "capping" from the government.

On Thursday, a spokesman for Shepway District Council said: "The council is expected to approve the plans at a full meeting tonight. It's fairly drastic action."

Last week, Shepway Liberal Democrat Cllr Anthony Baker resigned from his party in protest at the planned rise, saying the increase should have been restricted to single figures.

He has remained on the council as an independent councillor.


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