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Petition launched as toilets face axe in Baildon
7:00am Monday 9th December 2013 in News
A sweet shop owner who has voluntarily opened and locked-up Council toilets beside her Baildon business for 20 years has started her own petition to save them from the axe.
Maureen Robinson has run her sweet hut on Northgate for 50 years and every morning at 8am she unlocks the stone-roofed toilet block next door.
“About 20 years ago there was a problem with vandalism at night and I offered to lock them up and that’s how it started,” said Mrs Robinson,76.
“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. They are the only ones in the town. It’s ridiculous.”
Widowed Mrs Robinson has printed off her own petition for customers at her shop to sign in support of saving the toilets.
“There are an awful lot of elderly people living in Baildon and they use those toilets on their way in and out of the town,” she said.
“And we’re encouraging tourists and especially walkers to come to Baildon who will obviously need them too.
“It’s just typical of Bradford Council’s attitude. They are happy to rip the heart out of Baildon and other towns to save the city centre.
“They’ll take our money, but they don’t think we matter any more. I bet they’re not planning to close the toilets in Centenary Square.”
Retired managing director Peter Cleaver of Belmont Avenue, Baildon, supports the campaign to save the toilets.
“I think it’s absolutely disgusting that there is even talk of closing them.
“The so-called savings are relatively trivial in the scheme of things and these are the only public toilets we have,” said Mr Cleaver, 71.
Ward councillor Val Townend is also fighting the proposed closures which are threatened across Airedale and are included in a range of budget cuts which Bradford Council insists are unavoidable.
“They are so important for keeping Baildon as somewhere people can walk around and spend time happily without needing to worry about toilets. What Mrs Robinson is doing is brilliant,” said Coun Townend (Con, Baildon), who has also organised an online petition to save the toilets.
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