FUNDING for public toilets has been cut by Chelmsford Borough Council – putting pressure on individual parishes to find more than £10,000-a-year to keep them open.
While Galleywood and Writtle have plans in place to keep their lavatories open, Danbury and South Woodham Ferrers are faring less well with the extra burden.
After holding a public consultation, Danbury has taken the decision to demolish their toilets, while South Woodham Ferrers Town Council is planning to ask residents if they feel Market Square needs an extra toilet.
Margaret Saunders, Danbury parish clerk, said: "It's quite a sad thing really. We even looked into getting a more modern toilet system but that would have cost us £35,000 and we were looking at £12,000 upkeep costs each year.
"We asked for villagers comments and received 20 letters, of which 17 were positive but this wasn't a large representative from Danbury and the toilets were not in good condition."
While Danbury is the only parish which has had to close its toilets, South Woodham Ferrers has cause for concern.
Chairman Cllr Peter Wyatt said: "We have taken our public toilets by the station over already but we are looking to hold a public consultation regarding the Market Place ones.
"I am not sure how much use they get, because there are other toilets around in shops, so I am not sure a need will be found for them, in which case they may be closed down."
The cut in funding has been made because Chelmsford Borough Council wants to use the money to improve the quality of its public-park toilets and the town-centre lavatories based in Market Road and near Riverside.
Galleywood Cllr Graham Nichols said: "From our recently completed Galleywood Village Plan, we could see that parishioners wanted the facility to be retained in the village and we therefore took the positive decision to keep the conveniences open."
Writtle councillors used the handover to improve their current public conveniences.
Writtle Cllr Chris Hibbitt said: "We were already getting a new parish office from Maztec, which runsw the V Festival and new luxurious toilets have been put in on the same site."
A spokesperson from Chelmsford Borough Council said: "By doing this we can use some of the funding to improve the toilets in Market Road, Chelmsford, and those in the borough's parks."