RESIDENTS across the district will be paying for temporary facilities in Winchester city centre.

It was revealed at a full council meeting on July 8 that interim toilets at River Park Leisure Centre will be paid for by the council – funded by council tax payers.

These will be installed when the building is officially decommissioned.

Cllr Mike Read questioned this, asking why the town forum is not paying for it.

He said: “In a recent update briefing to members it was revealed that the cabinet has agreed for temporary facilities to be provided due to the intended closure of the River Park Leisure Centre and would be paid for by the council in general rather than the Winchester Town Forum.

"This effectively means that the residents across the whole district will be paying for those facilities which would normally be paid for by the local parish or town council.

"How is this disparity fair and what steps will the cabinet member be taking to ensure that all areas of the district are treated equally?”

The cabinet member for housing and asset management Cllr Kelsie Learney responded, saying the recreation ground can be used by anyone in the district.

“The report to cabinet in June 2020 detailed the next steps to be taken in respect of River Park Leisure Centre which includes removing access to facilities currently available to visitors to the wider North Walls park," she said.

"The Leisure Centre is a district wide asset and so it is right that the measures to be taken as part of decommissioning the building, and any necessary interim measures, are part of the council’s overall budget not the limited responsibility of the town forum.

"Use of the park is not restricted to residents of the unparished area and I very much welcome the way in which the town forum is not only working to provide permanent facilities but to improve and enhance that beautiful green space to the benefit of the district as a whole."