SPENDING a penny is becoming increasingly expensive in Cardigan due to vandalism.

A meeting of the town council heard that the toilets run by 4CG at Chancery Lane and Feidr Fair had been targeted on several occasions.

A ‘vandal-proof’ door costing £1,300 has twice been damaged "probably using a crowbar”, while toilets rolls have been regularly stolen or set alight. The toilets will now be left open to minimise the cost of repairs and toilet paper could be taken out.

Running costs for the toilets are currently just under £6,000 but are expected to rise substantially and councillors agreed to contribute £8,000, which had already been set aside in the budget.

“People need these facilities and it’s such a shame that they are being misused. It’s incredible really,” said Cllr Catrin Miles.

“We have decided to provide funding to keep these toilets open because we feel they are important for the town as a tourist destination but Welsh government is looking at the whole issue of funding.”

Cllr Yvonne O’Neill said it was not possible to keep open the facilities without providing toilet paper.

“How can we provide a public convenience without toilet paper?” she said. “You cannot put up a notice saying we don’t provide toilet paper. Unfortunately, that’s part of footing the bill and without toilet paper, you may as well close them.”

Cllr Trystan Phillips asked if it was possible that the new CCTV system to be installed in the town by the Police and Crime Commissioner could be used to monitor the toilets.

“You don’t crowbar your way into a toilet in a few seconds,” said Cllr Phillips. “It’s important we find out who is doing this and the new CCTV system might help in that. The cameras might also act as a deterrent.”