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Don't shut our village toilets, say Baildon campaigners
Petitions begging Bradford Council to spare the axe from a children’s centre and from public toilets in Baildon will be presented at a full council meeting.
And councillors are urging concerned parents and residents to attend tomorrow’s meeting of the authority to show their support for the threatened services.
Baildon Councillor Val Townend (Con, Baildon) has submitted both petitions for consideration and will present them to fellow councillors at the meeting, when she will explain the twin campaigns to stop the Sure Start centre being downgraded to an un-staffed ‘Outreach Base’ and to prevent the cost-cutting closure of toilets to save £8,000 a year.
Each petition contains hundreds of signatures.
She said: “There is a real need for the children’s centre to keep functioning as it always has.
“Although it may be seen as a relatively well-off place, there are plenty of people in Baildon and particularly young parents who are really struggling.”
“Last year Baildon had 969 under four-year-olds of which 446 were seen at the town’s Sure Start centre - that's 46 per cent.”
Ralph Berry (Lab, Wibsey), head of children's services, has said changes have to be made due to Government cuts and that running some children’s centres as Outreach Bases from local hubs would reduce overheads.
The petition to save the children’s centre has gathered 398 signatures.
Sweetshop owner Maureen Robinson, 76, who has locked and unlocked Baildon’s Northgate toilets voluntarily for 20 years, has spearheaded the fight to keep them open. She said: “They are very good quality toilets and were refurbished recently at a cost of about £15,000.
“And now Bradford Council are talking about closing them just to save £8,000 a year.”
She printed off her own petition which has received 536 signatures against any closure.
Coun Townend said: “The toilets are essential and there has been tremendous support to save them.
“Older people need them, but also those who are walking off the moors into Baildon.
“And with the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire this year, everywhere, Baildon included, should be able to offer at least the basic facilities for tourists.”
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