B&NES pressed to name public toilets at risk of closure

Bath and North East Somerset Council is coming under pressure to name which public toilets it plans on closing as part of a series of budget cuts planned for the next two years.

Conservative councillors are calling on the Liberal Democrat-run authority to reveal which public toilets are at risk of closure after the Council’s budget papers revealed that it intends on closing 15 of its 29 toilets.

The Council has so far declined to name which toilets could be earmarked for closure, having been pressed on the issue by councillors at a meeting of the Planning, Transport and Environment scrutiny panel last month.

Conservatives have said that local communities which could be affected should not be kept in the dark about the Council’s plans, and that councillors cannot make an informed decision on the proposals until more details are released.

Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Michael Evans, said:

“We are currently in the completely unacceptable position of the Council saying it plans to close more than half its public toilets, but not revealing which ones are at risk.

“B&NES already closed a number of its public toilets a few years ago, so to go even further and close fifteen more could leave many areas without any public conveniences anywhere nearby.

“There is already a view that Bath city centre is lacking in public toilets for a busy tourist city, but if none of these are to shut then that clearly leaves public toilets in local communities, including places like Midsomer Norton, Paulton and Keynsham, at risk.  The Council is also saying that it may transfer the maintenance of its remaining toilets to other organisations, but we don’t know if this could then involve charging for their use.

“Residents shouldn’t be kept in the dark about these plans.  The Lib Dems should be more open about their plans so that local people can have their say before any closures take place.”