Councillors back review of public toilet cutbacks

Councillors in Bath and North East Somerset have voted to back a review of toilet cutbacks throughout the area.

At a Full Council meeting on Thursday, 11th September, a majority of councillors ultimately voted to support a Conservative proposal which calls upon the Liberal Democrat-run authority to pause the current programme of reductions in public toilet capacity and consult with residents on the changes.

The Conservative motion was passed with the support of both Labour and Independent Councillors, despite an attempt to block the proposal by the Council’s ruling Liberal Democrats.

During the debate, criticism was heaped upon the Council for the way in which it had handled the reductions public toilet facilities, with Conservatives slating the authority for creating an unnecessary level of public anger and branding the exercise a “bad deal for local tax-payers”.

It was revealed during the debate that, as a result of the changes to public toilets, the cost to the Council of maintaining each toilet has trebled from approximately £1,800 a year to nearly £6,000 a year, despite the fact users were now being charged 20p a time.

Conservative Group Leader, Councillor Tim Warren, who moved tabled the proposal, said:

“Whilst the number of toilet cubicles are being cut from over ninety to less than forty, the cost of maintaining each toilet has actually trebled.  This is clearly not a good deal for local taxpayers.  Residents want their public toilets to be clean and modern, but they also want them conveniently located with an adequate number of cubicles.

“The Lib Dems have simply refused to listen to reason on this issue, ignoring various petitions and pleas from the public.  We’re talking here about significant cuts in toilet capacity at some busy family locations, including parks.

“We’re therefore very pleased that our motion was passed.  Hopefully it will now force the Council to pause, consult and listen to what local people feel is right for their communities before ploughing any further.”