A CHINK of light has appeared in the battle to save the toilets at Poppit Sands from closure.

The toilets are currently run by Pembrokeshire County Council but it is looking to pass on that responsibility to St Dogmaels Community Council – along with the toilets in the High Street car park.

However, the community council fears the financial implications of such a decision – and also the possible loss of the beach’s Blue Flag.

Pembrokeshire County Council cabinet member for finance Cllr Bob Kilmister told a meeting of St Dogmaels Community Council that he was keen to see the toilets remain and that talks were on-going to try to make that happen.

“Welsh Government has agreed to drop business rates on toilets which is fantastic news and we need to work out the effect of that,” said Cllr Kilmister.

“We have 72 toilets which is the most in Wales and it is a considerable cost. It is not a statutory service though Welsh Government is keen for it to have a higher profile.

“The toilets at Poppit are expensive to run but we are looking at what we can do. This is a Blue Flag beach and I don’t see how we can close them. There must be other solutions to how we run them and we don’t expect anything to happen this year.

“I think we also have to get the National Park Authority involved in this.”

Community councillors had been considering calling a public meeting to discuss the matter but decided to put that on hold for the time being after hearing Cllr Kilmister’s remarks.

They will continue to canvas local views and to keep working on the various options.

Cllr Phil Hutchings said: “Pembrokeshire relies heavily on tourism and any loss of toilet facilities would have a tremendous effect.

“The demands on Poppit have been increasing year on year – the car parks have been full to overflowing – and to lose the toilets would be terrible and have a huge impact on B&B’s and guest houses in the area.”