A PETITION has been launched to pull the chain on plans to close public toilets.

Former Jaywick councillor Dan Casey is challenging Tendring Council to overturn its decision to shut the public convenience in Garden Road, Jaywick.

Mr Casey, who lives in Jaywick, launched the petition last week and is confident to get around 1,000 signatures from residents to force the council to rethink its decision.

He said the beach is an important natural asset to Jaywick but it will be of little value if it is no longer supported by easy accessible public toilets.

He said: “It’s disgusting there have been all of these new investments to improve Jaywick’s roads and build new apartments, yet the public toilets are going to be closed.”

“People will end up having to do their business on the beach and if they have children and have nowhere to take them they will have to go on the beach.

“Shop owners will be angry over residents wanting to use their toilets, and when the toilets were shut before people asked to use nearby residents’ private toilets.”

Gill Elkins MBE, secretary of Jaywick community forum, said she remembers when the toilets were closed several years ago and the problems it caused.

She said: “I remember people coming off of the beach and knocking on residents’ doors to use their private facilities.

“So residents ended up putting notices on their front doors saying that people could not use their toilets.

“The council is spending all of this money to encourage tourism yet they take away public toilets.”

Tendring councillor Nick Turner said the toilets are closed for the winter and the council is not considering reopening them.

He said 44 public toilets around the district were being reviewed and a report would be put to a future council meeting.

He said: “A working party of members and senior officers reviewed our 44 public conveniences across the district and recommended a number of proposals, including the closure of some facilities.

“A report has been prepared and will be discussed at a Tendring Council future meeting. It was published in the forward plan, which is a public document, in November.”

Mr Casey will be raising the issue of the closure at the full council meeting on Tuesday, March 28.