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New criteria to allocate portable loos after council splashed out over £54,000 in 16 months

Majority of spending applied to events held in Armagh city and district

Criteria will shortly dictate when and where ABC Council provides portable toilets after revelations tens of thousands was spent on such provision in just 16 months.

And the lion’s share of that spending – run up between May 2017 and August 2018 – was to cover events in the Armagh district.

The council splashed out £54,833 across the borough as a whole.

The majority – £27,584 – was as a result of 624 portable toilets provided across the old Armagh Council area.

Sporting events, charity events, band parades and annual ‘big draw’ calendar events like Armagh Show and Markethill Festival all required toilet provision.

The total cost in the Craigavon area was £10,265 and and in Banbridge £16,984.

Some of the toilet facilities are described as ‘permanent’.

When details first came to light and were revealed last year by Armagh I , there was shock and concern at the extent of spending on such provision.

This has led to calls for a process to be drawn up which will help with future allocations.

A report to this week’s environment committee explains: “The provision of Portaloos to events had been a historic practice in each of the old council areas which continued when the councils came together.

“Work is now underway, within the People Directorate, to establish a structure/process to manage the provision of Portaloos by the council. The process is linked into the wider support offered by the cuncil to events generally.”

The study will produce an application park or form – including booking timeframe – and will identify a set of criteria based on community benefit, funding, both internal/external), community group/organisation and corporate impact on council.

A report will be brought back to councillors for consideration with a view to agreeing a set of criteria before the process is implemented.

It is then hoped to present this report to committee in March.

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