A petition expressing opposition to the decision by Liberal Democrat-run Bath and North East Somerset Council to permanently close the public toilets on Weston High Street has already gained the support over six hundred and fifty residents.
The petition was organised by the area’s local Councillor Colin Barrett (Cons, Weston) in response to the sudden closure by the Council of the village’s public toilets last month.
The petition calls upon the authority to reopen the toilets whilst a public consultation is undertaken to ascertain whether local people believe the toilets provided within the recently revamped Tesco store further down the High Street are an adequate replacement.
Since the toilets have been closed, some local businesses on the High Street have complained that they have witnessed men urinating behind the toilet block after going to the toilets only to find the doors locked. Colin Barrett has passed these concerns onto the Council and called for signage to be put up redirecting people to the Tesco store.
Councillor Barrett, who has led the fight to save the toilets from the Council’s closure programme, has welcomed the support shown by residents for the petition. Colin said:
“Residents in Weston feel very strongly that we are being let down by a Council which doesn’t listen and completely ignores the views of local people.
“All we are asking is that the Lib Dems stick to their word – that they reopen our toilet block and undertake a consultation with residents asking whether or not the toilets we secured as part of the Tesco revamp further down the High Street are a good enough replacement.
“Funding was put back into the Council’s budget to allow our public toilets a stay of execution whilst alternative options were sought, so there was no reason to close them down so suddenly.”
Residents in Weston have also voiced concerns about the future of the toilet building if the Council refuses to reopen them. Colin added:
“I have been speaking with officers to find out what plans the Council for the toilet building itself if it is closed for good, as residents are frustrated at the lack of information being provided by the Council. Suggestions that talks have been going on ‘behind closed doors’ about renting out the building to a business have only compounded these concerns. This is a community building, and so residents should be involved in deciding its future.”