Public toilets face the axe in Pendle Council cuts

10:00am Friday 13th December 2013

Executive councillors are set to make a decision about the future of 17 public toilets across Pendle, including seven in West Craven.

The council’s deputy chief executive Philip Mousdale has recommended the closure of six toilet blocks, including one in Salterforth and another in Sough Park, on March 31, 2014.

In other villages and towns, such as Earby and Barnoldswick, parish and town councils could take over the running of their public conveniences.

Coun John David, executive member for environmental services, said: “We would dearly love to be able to keep all our conveniences going, but that is not possible.”

Salterforth would have to find £4,620 to retain the toilets on the village playing fields.

“There is no way we can afford to run them,” said Coun Christine Pollard, chairman of Salterforth Parish Council. “That amount is just about what we receive in precept and grant monies.”

Pendle Council has also recommended the closure of toilets in Sough Park as Kelbrook and Sough Parish Council has indicated the cost of running the conveniences (£2,820) was more than its annual budget.

In Earby, running costs for public toilets at the bus station and Station Hotel are £7,440 and £5,280, respectively, and the town council has shown a willingness to take on both facilities if an agreement can be reached.

“Nothing has been fully agreed yet,” said town councillor Morris Horsfield. “We have to come to a practical and sensible solution.”

Barnoldswick has three public toilets which cost £13,740 to maintain.

Coun Ken Hartley, chairman of Barnoldswick Town Council, said: “These recommendations are putting parishes and town councils between a rock and a hard place.”

He said members were reluctant to make any decisions until they knew the full running costs.

A recent Pendle Council report broke down the costs as town centre car park £8,330, Letcliffe Park £3,180 and Victory Park 2,230.

“The town centre toilets are vital to the thriving town-centre market and events like Barnoldswick Beach and the Christmas lights switch-on,” added Coun Hartley.

Executive councillors are due meet tonight to consider the proposals, which could save the council £114,000.

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