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Relocation of superloo will kick up a real stink

By Adrian Rutherford

A so-called superloo which has infamously cost Omagh District Council more than £360,000 to rent is to be moved.

But the decision to relocate the luxury loo from Omagh to Fintona is causing a real stink in the Co Tyrone town.

The superloo — which was highlighted in a recent audit report as a prime example of waste by Northern Ireland’s councils — costs around £28,000 a year to rent.

The self-cleaning, low maintenance toilet is currently located in Omagh town centre, and is to be moved in the near future.

But that decision has not gone down well with people in Fintona, its new destination.

The chairman of Fintona Community Forum, Kevin Myers, said the money could be better spent on attracting new businesses and replacing derelict buildings in the town.

“This is going to take £28,000 of taxpayers’ money — we do not need it, it is a crazy idea,” he said.

Mr Myers said the money could provide 15 hours’ employment for people in the town or changing facilities for the local sports pitches.

“We don’t want fancy toilets, we want facilities for children and older people — things that we can actually use,” he said.

But Sinn Fein councillor Martin McColgan, who chairs Omagh Council’s environmental services committee, said replacing Fintona’s old public toilets would address other problems in the town.

“We have had some problems with vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the past and this move is part of upgrading the area,” he said.

“The automated toilet is well suited to the needs of the area. The maintenance and upkeep is provided for by the rent we pay for it.”

Last month the superloo, situated in Omagh town centre, was singled out for criticism in the hard-hitting report by the chief local government auditor.

His report questioned whether the £28,000 spent annually over the past 13 years — an overall total of £364,000 — represented value for money.

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