Friends of Harden's St Ives Estate call for loos to be saved

Campaigners outside the toilets on the St Ives Estate

Campaigners outside the toilets on the St Ives Estate

First published in News
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Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by

A campaign has started to save threatened public loos at a popular beauty spot.

The toilet block at Harden’s St Ives Estate is facing closure by cash-strapped Bradford Council.

Opponents fear the move would have a massive impact on the site, which draws thousands of visitors a year.

An online petition has been set up.

Pam Laking, of the Friends of St Ives, said countless improvements have been carried out – in conjunction with the Council – at the estate, which have helped boost the popularity of the area.

“When the Friends group was initiated by the Council one of the main aims was to greatly increase visitor numbers and that has been achieved,” she said.

“Many mainstream and special needs schools view the estate as an educational base and tool, and a number are from inner-city areas where the children do not experience the countryside in their everyday lives. Teachers say that what their pupils learn at St Ives is invaluable.

“None of these groups could manage without the toilets.

“Many of our visitors are in the older and younger age ranges, who tend to need to use the loos more frequently.”

Mrs Laking acknowledged there are businesses based on the estate but she said they could not be expected to open up their facilities to anyone other than customers.

She added: “We do have some sympathy with the Council, as we appreciate that its funds are very limited and that it is impossible for it to sustain everything. But for the relatively small amount of money it costs to keep these toilets open, we feel it’s important that the Council should do so.

“The toilets are not abused by the public and do not suffer from vandalism or graffiti, so simply have to be cleaned and opened and closed.”

Among those backing the campaign is Bingley Civic Trust.

Chairman John Findlay said: “It would be a great pity if the toilets were not retained.”

Earlier this year the Council earmarked several public toilets for closure to help save cash. They included ones in Central Park, Haworth, which were subsequently given a reprieve following opposition.

Steve Hartley, the Council’s interim strategic director for environment and sport, said: “We understand deeply-felt concerns about this issue but it is one of the many difficult choices that we have had to make to find £115 million in savings over the next three years as a result of national cuts in council funding.

“The Council has allocated funding to provide public toilets at City Hall and City Park in Bradford, Ilkley central car park, Ilkley Riverside, Haworth Central Park, Baildon, Saltaire and the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth.

“However, budgets have been devolved to area committees so they will have the final say on how their budgets are allocated. We hope that either parish or town councils or community groups can consider taking over public toilets in other parts of the district but if this is not possible, they will no longer be available.”

  • The sign the online petition go to http://chn.ge/1kWvLF8.

Comments (5)

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9:08am Wed 4 Jun 14

BEETEEE says...

I can't see what all the fuss is about. Get taken short in St. Ives, just pop down to Bradford city centre, 2 public toilets within 100 yards of each other!!
Real joined up thinking. This is just what you have come to expect from Bradford Concill
I can't see what all the fuss is about. Get taken short in St. Ives, just pop down to Bradford city centre, 2 public toilets within 100 yards of each other!! Real joined up thinking. This is just what you have come to expect from Bradford Concill BEETEEE
  • Score: 14

9:18pm Wed 4 Jun 14

rosesrwhite says...

Absolutely scandalous decision. I'd love to know exactly what Bradford Council has against Bingley. They keep two toilets within yards of each other in the city centre, a set at Baildon, but close BOTH of ours, even though we bring in huge amounts of money with the festival and the show. Just how much more do the people of Bingley have to put up with from these incompetent oafs?
Absolutely scandalous decision. I'd love to know exactly what Bradford Council has against Bingley. They keep two toilets within yards of each other in the city centre, a set at Baildon, but close BOTH of ours, even though we bring in huge amounts of money with the festival and the show. Just how much more do the people of Bingley have to put up with from these incompetent oafs? rosesrwhite
  • Score: 7

9:22pm Wed 4 Jun 14

36a says...

St Ives is far too far out of inner Bradford to be considered for any spending on anything apart from putting up dozens of health and safety signs. Ferchristsakes, treat people with respect, we are not stupid, they are expensive and unnecessary.
Despite thousands of people visiting every week, nothing is ever spent on maintenance of the paths
St Ives is far too far out of inner Bradford to be considered for any spending on anything apart from putting up dozens of health and safety signs. Ferchristsakes, treat people with respect, we are not stupid, they are expensive and unnecessary. Despite thousands of people visiting every week, nothing is ever spent on maintenance of the paths 36a
  • Score: 5

6:39am Thu 5 Jun 14

caledonia15 says...

St ives is a real jewel in the crown for the Bradford District, you only have to go up there and see the crowds of folk who love the place. To even consider closing the toilets there is beyond belief, but when you are talking about the grossly incompetence that prevails within Bradford Council then does anything really surprise you anymore?. How about getting rid of the non-productive chief exc post, saves 200 grand a year to start, followed by more of the highly paid dead wood in the council "management", massive savings there too, Its time the council started looking a little nearer to home when they want to make savings
St ives is a real jewel in the crown for the Bradford District, you only have to go up there and see the crowds of folk who love the place. To even consider closing the toilets there is beyond belief, but when you are talking about the grossly incompetence that prevails within Bradford Council then does anything really surprise you anymore?. How about getting rid of the non-productive chief exc post, saves 200 grand a year to start, followed by more of the highly paid dead wood in the council "management", massive savings there too, Its time the council started looking a little nearer to home when they want to make savings caledonia15
  • Score: 4

3:51pm Thu 5 Jun 14

bingleybantam says...

Yet another reason why the Aire Valley needs to break away from Bradford Council.

Here is an idea, how about spending money in the areas that pay the most in tax council? Failing that the council leader can pawn his earrings at one of the City Centres many pawn brokers/quick cash shops and fund them!
Yet another reason why the Aire Valley needs to break away from Bradford Council. Here is an idea, how about spending money in the areas that pay the most in tax council? Failing that the council leader can pawn his earrings at one of the City Centres many pawn brokers/quick cash shops and fund them! bingleybantam
  • Score: 2

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