A petition against changes planned to the public toilets in Keynsham’s Memorial Park has gained the support of 675 people.
The petition, organised by the town’s Conservative Councillors, calls on B&NES Council to halt plans which would see capacity at the toilets significantly reduced.
Under plans produced on behalf of the Council by private contractor Healthmatic, the number of toilet cubicles would be reduced to a single unisex toilet and one disabled toilet. Currently, the park has separate male and female toilets, with both a urinal and toilet cubical in the men’s toilet and two cubicles in the ladies.
The proposed alterations, which have now been granted planning permission by the Council, have sparked fears amongst park users over the potential for large queues at busy times, particularly at weekends and during school holidays when the park is often packed with families and children.
Conservatives have criticised Liberal Democrat-run B&NES Council for failing to consult residents over the changes and have said the fact the petition gained such a large number of signatures demonstrated the strength of feeling amongst local people.
They have called upon B&NES to go back to the drawing board and come back with revised plans which contain more toilet capacity.
Councillor Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North), who presented the petition to the Council’s Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods last Wednesday, said
“We’ve spoken with hundreds of people over the last few weeks about these plans and it’s clear that the majority of residents and park users are deeply opposed to the cut in toilet capacity.
“The fact we gained nearly seven hundred signatures in just a couple of weeks demonstrates the strength of feeling amongst local people.
“People are frustrated by the fact that B&NES has refused to listen to our genuine concerns about these changes. Of course modernising the toilets is widely welcomed, but there has to be adequate provision.
“There can already be queues at the toilets at busy times, so reducing capacity further to just one unisex cubicle and one disabled toilet simply makes no sense.
“The Council needs to halt these plans, listen to local people and come back with revised proposals which provide adequate capacity.”