Hope for campaigners in battle to save public toilets in Bingley, Shipley and St Ives

Shipley traders spokesman, Barry Cooper, outside the toilets in Shipley that are facing closure

Campaigners against closure of Bingley toilets are, (from left), Donald Wood, Jackie and Michael Church, Terry Brown, of Bingley Civic Trust, Ros Dawson, of Bingley Community Council Group, and Jag Picknett

First published in News

CAMPAIGNERS battling to save public toilets in Bingley, Shipley and the St Ives beauty spot have been offered a glimmer of hope.

The groups descended on a meeting of Bradford Council yesterday to present three petitions, each signed by thousands of people, calling for a re-think on plans to axe the loos.

The move had been included in a cost-cutting budget set earlier this year.

Yesterday, Councillor Andrew Thornton, executive member for the environment, pledged to keep exploring alternatives to the closures, but warned money was tight.

Terry Brown, vice-chairman of Bingley Civic Trust, said: "The closure will have a huge negative impact on our community and will be detrimental to efforts to regenerate our town."

Barry Cooper, chairman of Shipley Town Centre Business Partnership, said Shipley's loos were used 42,500 times a year, and accused the authority of a "bias against small towns".

He said Shipley bus and train stations didn't have public toilets so passengers would be left with no toilet facilities at all.

And Pam Laking, of the Friends of St Ives, said they had collected more than 2,500 signatures on their petition.

She said they had only found out about the closure plan by chance.

She said: "We actually did not know anything about the toilets being closed until a chance remark from an officer in the parks and landscape team about six weeks ago.

Cllr Thornton said while a decision over the budget had been taken, the savings wouldn't come into effect until April 2015, which gave them time to explore alternative ideas.

He said: "The budget decision wasn't the end of the road. Dialogue is ongoing."

He said the authority wanted to build up a dialogue with residents' groups, parish and town councils and other interested bodies about "finding alternatives and other mitigations".

Cllr Thornton said decisions over how the public toilet budgets was now a matter for the council's five area committees.

But he added; "We do hope to offer at least some room for manoeuvre to the committees on these budget decisions."

Cllr Thornton said they hoped to give the area committees "as much latitude as we can" to find ways of using their limited budgets to save as much of the public toilet service as possible.

He said: "The difficulty we have, of course, is the really difficult budget position we find ourselves in."

Comments (3)

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1:24pm Wed 16 Jul 14

basil fawlty says...

Closing all these public toilets would be outrageous. What on earth are the Council fools thinking of? This is the 21st century not the middle ages!
Closing all these public toilets would be outrageous. What on earth are the Council fools thinking of? This is the 21st century not the middle ages! basil fawlty
  • Score: 8

1:35pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Idlejack1 says...

After The Tour de France everyone has said hopefully this will bring tourists to the area, what is the point if there are no facilities for them to use. They may come once but won't return. I agree with the above comment, wake up Bradford Council.
After The Tour de France everyone has said hopefully this will bring tourists to the area, what is the point if there are no facilities for them to use. They may come once but won't return. I agree with the above comment, wake up Bradford Council. Idlejack1
  • Score: 7

9:56am Mon 21 Jul 14

rosesrwhite says...

Don't give us this same old clap trap Thornton. Yes savings have to be made but Bradford Council will still probably elect a new Chief Executive on nearly 200 grand a year so they can do nothing as the last one has. This council raids our communities so they can keep paying fat cat wages and spend money on the City Centre as they try to polish a turd. The added bonus is they can then blame central government for all this. We will have no toilet facilities in Bingley as we don't even have a supermarket that has these facilities. Its disgraceful.
Don't give us this same old clap trap Thornton. Yes savings have to be made but Bradford Council will still probably elect a new Chief Executive on nearly 200 grand a year so they can do nothing as the last one has. This council raids our communities so they can keep paying fat cat wages and spend money on the City Centre as they try to polish a turd. The added bonus is they can then blame central government for all this. We will have no toilet facilities in Bingley as we don't even have a supermarket that has these facilities. Its disgraceful. rosesrwhite
  • Score: 0

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