The Tesco Express store in Weston village in Bath has agreed to include public toilet provision within the shop as part of its expansion plans, the area’s local councillor Colin Barrett has learned.
The news comes following a lengthy campaign by local residents to save Weston’s public toilets from closure by Bath and North East Somerset Council, with hundreds of people signing a petition organised by Councillor Barrett calling for toilet provision to remain in the village.
Weston’s Conservative councillor Colin Barrett has welcomed the news, having held regular discussions with Tesco about the issue since the toilets were first earmarked for closure last year. If the plan goes ahead, the toilets within the Tesco Express store would be open for longer hours than the current Council-run facilities on the High Street.
Liberal Democrat-run Bath and North East Somerset Council is currently looking to find alternative public toilet provision for a number of communities throughout the district after councillors agreed in September to a Conservative plea to keep open toilets where no alternative provision can be found.
Councillor Barrett has said that the Council should now consult with residents on whether the Tesco proposals are acceptable to the local community, and provide greater clarity on what would happen to the existing toilet building. He said:
“It’s really good news that Tesco has now agreed in principle to include public toilets within its new store once the expansion takes place. I have been in regular contact with Tesco about this ever since B&NES announced its plan to close Weston’s public toilet. Tesco originally said they had no plans for toilets within the new store, and would not be in a position to sponsor the existing loos, so I’m really pleased we’ve managed to persuade them to change their stance.
“This is a real testament to people-power and the continued pressure from local residents, who have made it clear that our High Street needs a public toilet. I’d also like to thank the Council officers who have continued to work on this as well.
“There do remain some questions surrounding this plan which the Council needs to clarify before taking a final decision. Residents should first be consulted on whether they deem the Tesco plan acceptable, and the Council should also make clear what it plans to do with the current toilet building.”