RED Tape and unexpected snags mean there is no guarantee that Bye Street toilets will re-open by the end of the summer holidays.

There have been intense community efforts to re-open the toilets, ever since Herefordshire Council closed them on April 1.

But when the toilets do eventually re-open, it will be for a six month trial period only, and then only two of the four cubicles will be operational, under the control of the "Love Ledbury" group.

Herefordshire Councillor for Ledbury, Coun Liz Harvey said: "There may be a bit of a queue when the coaches arrive."

But speaking at a full Ledbury town council meeting last week, she said the other two cubicles could be opened up "for special events, such as the Ledbury Carnival, the October Fayre and the Christmas Lights".

The two cubicles that will be open during the trial period, on a date still to be announced, will be the men's urinal and the unisex cubicle.

"We are in the initial phases of this and don't want to overstretch ourselves," said Coun Harvey, a member of the Love Ledbury group.

A local company, Bliss Cleaning Services had offered to clean the entire toilet block regularly for free, as a service to the community and to get them open again in time for the majority of the school holidays.

But Coun Harvey said there was still "a snagging list" at the toilets to overcome, including mending a strap on a baby changing table.".

She also revealed that the cleaning contract for the toilets would go out to tender.

She said: "We do intend to put the the cleaning contract out to tender, because that is the right thing to do."

However, Bliss Cleaning Services could be asked to clean for free until the fitting of coin-operated locks, which would help to towards annual operational costs for the toilets, which Cllr Harvey put at £10,000 a year.

Felicity Solly of Bliss Cleaning Services said she knew "there was a lot of red tape" to overcome, but she did not know that the cleaning contract would go out to tender.

"I don't know anything about it," she said, and added that she would speak to Love Ledbury this week.

The locks will be paid for through a £7,400 grant from Ledbury Town Council.

Several town councillors expressed some reservations about the plan.

Coun Martin Eager praised Love Ledbury's "wonderful venture" but added: "Six month's is not long enough for a trial period."

Ledbury's mayor, Coun Bob Barnes asked whether the town council could give a a grant to a body that was not yet a registered company or charity.

But Coun Clive Jupp said: "This is a community group, like the Carnival Association. They have a constitution and so there is no difference to any other group. We should release the money."

Coun Tony Bradford said he understood that, under original plans, the toilets would be paid for in part through business support, sponsorship and public donations, and he added: "Can we have a balance sheet to see how much money Love Ledbury has at the moment?"

Cllr Harvey said: "We have £1426 so far. We get cheques coming in each week."

She hoped that businesses would back the venture but said: "It's a leap of faith, for us also. If businesses don't come through, we won't be able to continue. But we have to give it a go."