Council not so flush thanks to toilet roll thief
It's the case of the disappearing loo rolls – and for one Westcountry council the mystery is no laughing matter.
Dartmouth town council is trying to catch a thief who has been methodically pinching toilet paper from the its loos.
Last month the council spent £163 of taxpayers' money keeping the toilets in the market square supplied with loo paper. That was partly to cope with the expected rise in visitor numbers during the town's popular music festival, which brought thousands of visitors to Dartmouth.
But town clerk Chris Horan blames the escalating costs on a certain section of people who are helping themselves to Dartmouth's finest two-ply toilet rolls.
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"There have been occasions this year when we have become aware that people are going in and obtaining the rolls," he told town councillors.
Mr Horan said that the large toilet rolls are locked into place, but this does not stop people from unravelling the rolls and stealing the paper.
He said the ladies toilets in particular seem to have been targeted.
"We have tried officially to identify the individual concerned, but it is very, very difficult," he said.
His comments came during the latest town council meeting as Councillor Tessa de Galleani complained about the high cost of keeping council-owned market toilets supplied with toilet paper.
"I believe that some rolls are walking out," said Mr Horan. "We have got a pilfering problem there."
The toilets – which were given a massive re-vamp during last year's market regeneration – are costing the town council around £5,000 a year to run.
There have even been calls for people to be charged for using the toilets to help the council recover some of the cost – or closing them to the general public.