Conservatives to press for rethink over public toilet closures

Conservative councillors are set to press Bath and North East Somerset Council to rethink plans to close several of the district’s public toilets when the matter is debated by councillors at a meeting this week.

People power has forced a debate on the issue of toilet closures after a petition organised by local residents gained over 2,400 signatures. If a petition gains over 1,000 signatures it automatically triggers a debate on the issue at a Full Council meeting.

Conservative councillors, who have been fighting to save a number of the public toilets under threat, have said they will use the opportunity to call upon the Liberal Democrat-run authority to rethink its current plans.

Conservatives have previously criticised the Council for causing confusion over the fate of a number of the area’s toilets. As a result, Conservatives have said they will be seeking firm assurances from the Council over the future of a number of public toilets if it is not possible to find suitable alternative provision or agree alternative funding arrangements.

Councillor Geoff Ward, Conservative shadow spokesman for Neighbourhoods, said:

“Up to now there have been precious few opportunities for councillors to properly debate the planned toilet closures and give their views. So the fact that people power has forced this issue onto the Council agenda is very welcome.

“Conservative councillors will be using this opportunity to press the Lib Dems to listen to local residents and rethink their current closure plans. We will also be seeking greater clarity from the Council on what the future holds for a number of at-risk toilets if no nearby alternative provision is found.

“The Council recently announced that it is poised to sign a £2 million deal with a private company to maintain and upgrade its remaining public toilets. It seems inconceivable that no way could be found to keep more toilets open as part of this deal.”