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Stop Taking the P!


Conservative campaigners in Bath and North East Somerset have launched a series of petitions demanding that the ruling Liberal Democrats reconsider cuts to public toilets that have led to the removal of capacity across the city and surrounding areas.

Kingsmead Conservative candidate Malcolm Cupis - “Eight cubicles for the whole of Victoria Park is wholly inadequate"

Kingsmead Conservative candidate Malcolm Cupis – “Eight cubicles for the whole of Victoria Park is wholly inadequate”

Toilets have been closed completely in Twerton, Weston, Combe Down, Peasedown St John and Larkhall, despite campaigns to keep them open, and capacity at other toilets, including Alice Park and Royal Victoria Park has been significantly reduced.

The latest petition relates to Royal Victoria Park where the toilets at the tennis club pavilion were closed suddenly earlier in the year, with no consultation, resulting in the loss of three male cubicles and a urinal, four female cubicles and disabled facilities.

In addition to this capacity at the play area is now also being reduced, which means that total capacity for the entire park will now be just eight cubicles.

“Eight cubicles for the whole of Victoria Park is wholly inadequate when you consider the size of the area and the fact that the park is commonly full of parents with small children, elderly and disabled people, as well as able-bodied adults of all ages,” says Conservative candidate for Kingsmead and Editor of the Bath Mercury Malcolm Cupis.

“I’ve recently been approached by several people who are complaining about the removal of the toilets at the tennis club pavilion, the additional reduction in capacity at the play area is a matter of serious concern and we call upon the Council to review this with immediate effect,” adds fellow Conservative Candidate for Kingsmead Chris Pearce.

The Royal Victoria Park petition can be found by going to http://bathconservativesurveys.com/index.php/survey/index/sid/637221/newtest/Y/lang/en

Over in Alice Park work has already started on reducing the provision to two unisex cubicles, with reduced opening hours, for the whole park. “This is totally inappropriate for the needs of parents with young children, the number of elderly people who visit the Park and the events that take place there and we urge the Council to rethink the proposals and maintain a more sensible level of provision, for the good of all the many people who treasure the park,” says Conservative candidate.

The Alice Park petition can be found at  http://bathconservativesurveys.com/index.php/survey/index/sid/651137/newtest/Y/lang/en

In Weston, Conservative councillor Colin Barrett has said that residents in Weston are ‘outraged’ at the way in which the Council shut the toilets without warning, despite the fact funding was made available to keep the toilets open whilst alternative provision was found.

Colin has called upon the Council to clarify what its future plans are for the toilet building, warning that residents will not put up with an empty and derelict toilet block on the High Street.

“The way in which the Council has gone about this toilet closure, shutting them without consultation or warning, is a disgrace,” says Cllr Barrett.  “People I’ve spoken to in the village are outraged.

“We’ve therefore launched this petition calling on B&NES to reopen our toilets whilst a public consultation is undertaken to find out whether local people believe the toilets provided in the Tesco store are a suitable replacement.

“We are also demanding greater clarity over the Council’s plans for the toilet building itself.  Residents will not abide having an empty and derelict toilet block on our High Street.  For a start, the resident who has over the years transformed the grass patch in front of the toilets into a garden has made it look superb, and we don’t want to lose this.

“We are simply asking the Council to do three simple things: reopen, consult, then decide on the future of the toilets.  We know the money is in there to do it, as the Council earmarked the necessary funds in its budget.”

Keynsham residents have been left angered after the announcement that capacity in the Memorial Park is to be reduced to just one unisex cubicle and one disabled toilet.  Currently, the park has two ladies’ cubicles plus one male cubicle and a urinal.

Another petition has been launched against proposals for capacity reductions in The Shallows in Saltford which would see the provision cut back to just a single unisex cubicle. urinal.

The village’s two Conservative councillors, Francine Haeberling and Mathew Blankley, have warned that reducing provision to just one toilet cubicle for both male and females will not provide adequate capacity, particularly during the busy summer period.  The proposals, which have been drawn up for the Council by contractor Healthmatic, will also involve the introduction of a 20p charge for use of the toilet.

The petition comes after Saltford Parish Council also voted to oppose the plans, which are currently subject to a planning application.

“The idea of having just one toilet cubicle to serve both men and women at this busy location is utterly ridiculous,” says Councillor Francine Haeberling (Cons, Saltford).  “It clearly hasn’t been thought through, and you have to even wonder whether anyone at the Council actually came and visited the site before coming drawing up these plans.  If they had, they would have seen that these toilets are used by hundreds of people each day who come to visit the marina and weir.”

Fellow Saltford Councillor Mathew Blankley (Cons, Saltford) agreed, adding “we welcome the refurbishment and modernisation of the toilets, but the cut in capacity is totally unacceptable.  The petition therefore calls upon the Lib Dems to call a halt to these plans, actually listen to what local people and the Parish Council are saying, and come back with revised plans which maintain a more adequate level of provision.”


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1 Comment

  1. Vicky Drew says:

    Ironic then that the local Councillors in charge of incontinence have als shut the Batheaston toilets. How those cyclists and walkers using the new expensive bridge to Bathampton will relieve themselves is a mystery. I will be sure to ensure reviews on the cycling walking websites include a recommendation to avoid this route if you’re in any way one of those people that occasionally needs to urinate..


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