COUNCILLORS have called for a planned £500,000 investment in public toilets in Poole to be delayed.

Concerns have been raised by Conservatives that not enough information has been provided to back up the view that it should be prioritised by BCP Council.

But the coalition administration said the funding was needed quickly ahead of the start of the summer tourism period and said it would “restore the town’s dignity”.

Last week the council’s cabinet revealed plans to spend £493,000 on reopening two blocks – Poole Quay and Lake Pier – and on “urgently” refurbishing six more.

Funding has been taken from money Poole council had allocated for costs associated with the council merger but that was no longer required.

The plans were considered by members of the overview and scrutiny committee on Monday where councillors questioned whether the money could be better spent in another area.

Cllr Mike Greene (Con, Bournemouth Central) said he was “not satisfied” that a full list of priorities had been analysed before the decision to fund the toilets project was made.

He called for the cabinet to delay its planned approval of the scheme on Wednesday until that work had been completed.

“Our duty is to check that the executive has followed the right procedures and that their work has been done in a robust manner,” he said.

“This is not to stop the toilets being reopened and refurbished and it’s not for us to make that decision.

“But it is our duty to check that the decision is being made robustly.”

He proposed requesting the cabinet delay approving the project until a full analysis of where the money could be spent was provided.

Cabinet member for finance Cllr David Brown (Lib Dem, Bearwood and Merley) said he did not think the public would support postponing the funding.

“To me it’s a no-brainer,” he said. “To try and say we need to take a bit more time, I don’t think the people of Poole would appreciate that.

“If you speak to residents you will hear plenty of evidence of people who are no longer visiting because they say there are no toilets there.”

Cllr Mike Brooke (Lib Dem, Broadstone) said the closure of the toilets was “discriminatory” and that the new funding should be made available as soon as possible.

However, Cllr Greene’s proposal was approved with the backing of the eight Conservative members of the committee against the seven coalition councillors opposing it.

Members of the cabinet will decided whether to approve the funding on Wednesday.