Anger at ‘sudden’ toilet closures

Opposition Conservative councillors have expressed outrage at the sudden closure of five public toilets in Bath and Peasedown St John.

Liberal Democrat-run Bath and North East Somerset Council has announced that as of Monday, 14th July, five public toilets in and around Bath are to close with immediate effect.

The five toilets, which had previously been given a stay of execution from the Council’s closure plan, are located in:

  • Larkhall Square;
  • High Street in Weston;
  • Dominion Road, Twerton;
  • Bradford Road, Combe Down;
  • Greenlands Road, Peasedown St John.

The closure of the five toilets comes amid on-going controversy over plans by the Council’s contractor Healthmatic to reduce the number of toilet cubicles at the remaining public toilets as part of planned refurbishments.

Conservative councillors are demanding urgent answers from the Council over the reason for the sudden closure, as it had been agreed at the authority’s budget meeting in February that money would be allocated to enable the toilets to remain open for a further year whilst alternative options were being investigated.

Conservative Group Leader Cllr Tim Warren said:

“This demonstrates that just how much to Council isn’t listening to local people.  Residents are understandably angry at the sudden nature of these closures, which have taken place without any consultation or prior warning.

“As part of the Council’s budget, agreed in February, additional funding was put back into public toilets to allow them to remain open for another year whilst alternative options were considered.

“Instead the Lib Dems have reneged on this and ploughed ahead with the toilet closures before alternative provision has been agreed and put in place.

“We are demanding answers from the Council as to why this sudden closure has happened, which goes against the spirit of what was in the Council’s budget.”

Councillor Colin Barrett (Cons), who represents Weston village, said:

“People in Weston are outraged by this sudden closure of our public toilet.  We feel like we have been totally misled and let down by the Council.  Even I, as the local councillor, wasn’t warned about this.

“Over the past year I’ve been involved in negotiations with Tesco which have seen the company agree to include public toilet provision within their revamped Weston store.  But as Tesco is at the other end of the High Street to the current public toilets, I believe that residents deserve to be consulted on whether they feel this to be a reasonable alternative before the existing toilets are closed down.

“What’s even more concerning is that the Council clearly still has no real idea what it will do with the toilet block.  We certainly do not want an empty derelict toilet block blighting our High Street.”