HUNDREDS of readers of The Northern Echo website voted in a poll about disused toilets council chiefs say would costs tens of thousands of pounds to re-open.

The toilets, part of the Victorian indoor market in Darlington, have been closed since April 2012 as a result of Darlington Borough Council spending cuts.

They were re-opened temporarily during the Darlington 10k earlier this month, but look set to remain closed as the cash-strapped council tightens its belt.

Councillor Nick Wallis, the council's cabinet member for local environment, told a meeting of the full council last month that re-opening the toilets permanently would cost £68,000 initially, as well as an extra £30,000 a year for maintenance.

Veteran Conservative councillor Bill Stenson has made repeated calls for the toilets to be reopened, saying other council-run conveniences, such as those in the nearby Dolphin Centre, are inadequate for a town the size of Darlington.

Readers of The Northern Echo website agreed with Cllr Stenson – of almost 500 people who voted, 94 per cent said the toilets should be permanently re-opened.

Cllr Stenson said he hoped town hall bosses would take note of the poll result, adding that he was still hopeful the toilets would one re-open one day.