‘Lavatorial’ quip was a flash in the pan

District council leader apologises after Seaton mayor’s chain pulled by town toilets jibe

Seaton has received an apology from the leader of East Devon District Council over some “lavatorial” humour.

Cllr Paul Diviani got into hot water when he suggested the town should be happy to have retained its public toilets at The Underfleet and suggested they should not expect a community hotel as well.

Mayor Peter Burrows was fuming after the remarks and wrote to complain.

He said it was bad enough not getting answers to questions about the controversial Windsor Gardens access route without being subjected to “childish humour”.

He told Cllr Diviani: “I might have let this go if it hadn’t been for your attitude at the cabinet meeting on October 3 where there were items relating to Exmouth and Seaton.

“When the Mayor of Exmouth said that he was happy with this community facility - a hotel - I asked you if we could have it for Seaton as well.

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“You replied by saying ‘you have already got the public toilets, what more do you want?’.

“This behaviour is something you would expect from children, young children, not from the Leader of EDDC. This happens time and time again when Seaton is mentioned.”

He added: “Do you not think, Councillor Paul Diviani, that you owe an apology to the people of Seaton?”

This week Cllr Burrows received a reply from the district council explaining: “The Leader assured Councillor Burrows that his concerns in respect of developers’ temporary access across Windsor Gardens had been addressed. He confirmed that the portfolio holder, environment, had taken appropriate action to assess and reassure local concerns.

“In response to a request from Councillor Burrows, the Leader apologised for comments made which he had intended to be light-hearted.”

* The district council agreed not to pull the chain on Seaton’s Underfleet toilets in July 2011.

In a dramatic u-turn, they revoked an earlier resolution to demolish the loos, to make way for a “public realm” development.

The Cabinet decision came after protests from civic leaders, tourist chiefs and residents.

They warned that the loss of the toilets, near the town’s busiest visitor car and coach park, would “flush tourists away”.

Speaking at the time Cllr Diviani said: “We have listened to the people of Seaton and we have accepted their view that these toilets should be retained. We also appreciate the offer of Seaton’s mayor that we ‘only need to ask’ the town council for assistance in maintaining the toilets.”

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