Fears for future of public facilities under Saltaire 'community toilets' plan (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Councillor says scheme must not lead to closure of Council-funded loos
Asking Saltaire businesses to allow the public to use their toilets must not lead to the closure of the village’s existing facilities, a councillor warned.
Bradford Council is looking at providing “community toilets” in Saltaire, where people can pop into shops, cafes and pubs if the need arises.
It was proposed as a way of maintaining services at the tourist destination in the face of budget cuts, but the Council has been warned against using it as an easy way of replacing the village’s Caroline Street toilets, which cost the authority more than £18,000 a year to run.
Bradford Council’s Shipley Area Committee was recently given control over budgets for public toilets in Saltaire, Shipley and surrounding areas. Its chairman, Councillor David Heseltine, says there are no plans to shut existing toilets, although their future would depend on the budget being maintained by Council leaders.
She said: “These community toilets should be seen as an addition to the services required by the Council, rather than instead of them.
“Once public toilets are lost, they are lost. The idea is really good, but I hope this scheme doesn’t replace Council facilities.”
Coun Heseltine said the committee had no plans to close the toilets, although it would depend on future budgets. He said: “The idea is to provide additional facilities for visitors to the World Heritage Site.
“There are no plans to cut facilities in the current budget, but it will ultimately be down to the Council executive to decide our budgets in future.”
Councillor Martin Love (Green, Shipley) said he hoped that with the budget for toilets in the hands of local councillors rather than Bradford-based leaders, the toilets’ future was secure.
Steve Hartley, Bradford Council's assistant director for neighbourhood and customer services, said the scheme was still being assessed.
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