Mayor’s fury at closure of Skipton bus station toilets

Craven Herald: Mayor of Skipton Coun John Kerwin-Davey stands in front of the bus station toilets Mayor of Skipton Coun John Kerwin-Davey stands in front of the bus station toilets

Skipton’s mayor has reacted angrily to a decision to close the public toilets in the town’s busy bus station.

The two ‘pay and use’ toilets, which formed part of the bus station’s £1.2 million refurbishment scheme in 2009, have been declared too expensive to run by Craven District Council.

It says the toilets cost around £2 per user – despite a 20p charge – and around £20,000 per year to maintain.

But the mayor of Skipton, Coun John Kerwin-Davey, said the decision to close them “defied belief”.

“A few short years ago an enormous amount of ratepayers money was spent on building these toilets, but now those responsible have found we can’t afford to run them – even though people have to pay to use them.

“You couldn’t make it up,” he said.

The mayor, who also sits on Craven District Council, drew a parallel with the council’s current proposals to equip all its members with tablet computers.

“Of course, we can afford unwanted iPads for us councillors to play with, but this is what is called priorities and gives a stark demonstration to a lack of understanding of just what is important to the community,” he said.

The mayor believed the closure would have an impact on people visiting the town – which later this year is expected to receive thousands of visitors for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France.

“Skipton thrives on visitors and although I would not class a lavatory as a tourist attraction, I am quite sure it is just that. This closure will have a significant effect on visitor numbers,” he claimed.

“It is a basic measure of a civilised, well-run community that public toilets are available at the point of need.”

The decision to close the toilets was greeted with surprise by several members of the council.

A spokesman confirmed the toilets would close on Saturday and a sign would be put up directing people to the facilities in the High Street Car Park and Coach Street, which are now the responsibility of the town council.

“The five-year cleaning and maintenance contract with the company that installed the facilities has come to an end and will not be renewed.

“The savings will contribute to the council’s necessity to find additional savings,” said the spokesman.

Councillor Alan Sutcliffe (Cons), the council’s lead member for financial resilience, added: “Not enough people are using this facility to justify the large sum of money we spend each year on cleaning and maintenance.

“It costs council tax payers about £2 per user. Therefore, it makes sense to close it down at a time when we have a continuing need to make savings to balance the budget.”

Comments (12)

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2:34pm Fri 31 Jan 14

dennisnilsen says...

I usually go in one of the many doorways on Newmarket Street. Preferably, the DIY shop.
I usually go in one of the many doorways on Newmarket Street. Preferably, the DIY shop. dennisnilsen
  • Score: -6

7:05pm Fri 31 Jan 14

John wh says...

Pissoirs were first introduced in Paris in 1841. Can we have one in Skipton in 2014 in time for Le Tour? To use the other official facilities you must hope the limited opening times are in sync with your bodily functions.
Pissoirs were first introduced in Paris in 1841. Can we have one in Skipton in 2014 in time for Le Tour? To use the other official facilities you must hope the limited opening times are in sync with your bodily functions. John wh
  • Score: -1

11:04pm Fri 31 Jan 14

tezermac says...

more ipads they can buy with the savings.
more ipads they can buy with the savings. tezermac
  • Score: 8

10:03am Sat 1 Feb 14

Skipton Ratepayer says...

John wh wrote:
Pissoirs were first introduced in Paris in 1841. Can we have one in Skipton in 2014 in time for Le Tour? To use the other official facilities you must hope the limited opening times are in sync with your bodily functions.
There used to be a couple of pissoirs in Skipton but they were removed many decades ago. I think it's called progress ... But even if we had them back, what about the poor ladies?
[quote][p][bold]John wh[/bold] wrote: Pissoirs were first introduced in Paris in 1841. Can we have one in Skipton in 2014 in time for Le Tour? To use the other official facilities you must hope the limited opening times are in sync with your bodily functions.[/p][/quote]There used to be a couple of pissoirs in Skipton but they were removed many decades ago. I think it's called progress ... But even if we had them back, what about the poor ladies? Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: 2

10:57am Sat 1 Feb 14

Joaker says...

Skipton Ratepayer wrote:
John wh wrote:
Pissoirs were first introduced in Paris in 1841. Can we have one in Skipton in 2014 in time for Le Tour? To use the other official facilities you must hope the limited opening times are in sync with your bodily functions.
There used to be a couple of pissoirs in Skipton but they were removed many decades ago. I think it's called progress ... But even if we had them back, what about the poor ladies?
What Paula Radcliffe can do ........
[quote][p][bold]Skipton Ratepayer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John wh[/bold] wrote: Pissoirs were first introduced in Paris in 1841. Can we have one in Skipton in 2014 in time for Le Tour? To use the other official facilities you must hope the limited opening times are in sync with your bodily functions.[/p][/quote]There used to be a couple of pissoirs in Skipton but they were removed many decades ago. I think it's called progress ... But even if we had them back, what about the poor ladies?[/p][/quote]What Paula Radcliffe can do ........ Joaker
  • Score: 2

10:19am Mon 3 Feb 14

White Rhino says...

20k a year to operate a small toilet, I will do it for half that
20k a year to operate a small toilet, I will do it for half that White Rhino
  • Score: 7

7:34pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Mart56 says...

A couple of years ago Craven District Council decided it would no longer pay for the upkeep of the public toilets in Gargrave. The Parish Council agreed to take on the running costs. Last year the residents voted to keep the toilets open even though it was costing each household a significant sun each yeat. In order to be consistent, if the residents of Skipton wish to keep the toilets open they should pay via the Skipton town council precept.
A couple of years ago Craven District Council decided it would no longer pay for the upkeep of the public toilets in Gargrave. The Parish Council agreed to take on the running costs. Last year the residents voted to keep the toilets open even though it was costing each household a significant sun each yeat. In order to be consistent, if the residents of Skipton wish to keep the toilets open they should pay via the Skipton town council precept. Mart56
  • Score: -4

4:19pm Wed 5 Feb 14

pjl20 says...

Cllr John Kerwin - Davey is perfectly correct, austerity is being taken too far when some modern public conveniences in a bus station are closed down.

The coalition government is taking things too far with budget cuts to councils.

In the effort to bail out the ailing banks with £Billions, we must all suffer as the result, whilst they are still paid excessive their salaries/bonuses
Cllr John Kerwin - Davey is perfectly correct, austerity is being taken too far when some modern public conveniences in a bus station are closed down. The coalition government is taking things too far with budget cuts to councils. In the effort to bail out the ailing banks with £Billions, we must all suffer as the result, whilst they are still paid excessive their salaries/bonuses pjl20
  • Score: 7

4:22pm Wed 5 Feb 14

pjl20 says...

Mart56 wrote:
A couple of years ago Craven District Council decided it would no longer pay for the upkeep of the public toilets in Gargrave. The Parish Council agreed to take on the running costs. Last year the residents voted to keep the toilets open even though it was costing each household a significant sun each yeat. In order to be consistent, if the residents of Skipton wish to keep the toilets open they should pay via the Skipton town council precept.
When do you suppose that public toilets ceased to be an essential requirement of the local residents and visitors to Skipton town. Must we see a return to the dark ages of filth and squalor?
[quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: A couple of years ago Craven District Council decided it would no longer pay for the upkeep of the public toilets in Gargrave. The Parish Council agreed to take on the running costs. Last year the residents voted to keep the toilets open even though it was costing each household a significant sun each yeat. In order to be consistent, if the residents of Skipton wish to keep the toilets open they should pay via the Skipton town council precept.[/p][/quote]When do you suppose that public toilets ceased to be an essential requirement of the local residents and visitors to Skipton town. Must we see a return to the dark ages of filth and squalor? pjl20
  • Score: 3

6:30pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Nannabanana says...

Sales of Incontinent devices for people of a certain age are going to soar, Is this a marketing ploy and can we be sure that members of the council are not shareholders in the companies that provide these necessities?
Sales of Incontinent devices for people of a certain age are going to soar, Is this a marketing ploy and can we be sure that members of the council are not shareholders in the companies that provide these necessities? Nannabanana
  • Score: 3

7:31pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Mart56 says...

pjl20 wrote:
Mart56 wrote:
A couple of years ago Craven District Council decided it would no longer pay for the upkeep of the public toilets in Gargrave. The Parish Council agreed to take on the running costs. Last year the residents voted to keep the toilets open even though it was costing each household a significant sun each yeat. In order to be consistent, if the residents of Skipton wish to keep the toilets open they should pay via the Skipton town council precept.
When do you suppose that public toilets ceased to be an essential requirement of the local residents and visitors to Skipton town. Must we see a return to the dark ages of filth and squalor?
When do you suppose I said that public toilIets are not essential. I simply made the point that at Gargrave and soon other places in Craven the upkeep of the toilets is paid through the parish council precept. The residents of Gargrave voted for this even though it meant an increase in our council tax. To be consistent DEC needs to transfer the cost of running the toilets in Skipton to the Town Council.
[quote][p][bold]pjl20[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: A couple of years ago Craven District Council decided it would no longer pay for the upkeep of the public toilets in Gargrave. The Parish Council agreed to take on the running costs. Last year the residents voted to keep the toilets open even though it was costing each household a significant sun each yeat. In order to be consistent, if the residents of Skipton wish to keep the toilets open they should pay via the Skipton town council precept.[/p][/quote]When do you suppose that public toilets ceased to be an essential requirement of the local residents and visitors to Skipton town. Must we see a return to the dark ages of filth and squalor?[/p][/quote]When do you suppose I said that public toilIets are not essential. I simply made the point that at Gargrave and soon other places in Craven the upkeep of the toilets is paid through the parish council precept. The residents of Gargrave voted for this even though it meant an increase in our council tax. To be consistent DEC needs to transfer the cost of running the toilets in Skipton to the Town Council. Mart56
  • Score: 0

12:20am Thu 6 Feb 14

Joaker says...

Mart56 wrote:
A couple of years ago Craven District Council decided it would no longer pay for the upkeep of the public toilets in Gargrave. The Parish Council agreed to take on the running costs. Last year the residents voted to keep the toilets open even though it was costing each household a significant sun each yeat. In order to be consistent, if the residents of Skipton wish to keep the toilets open they should pay via the Skipton town council precept.
I will agree with that but why in the first place did CDC accept the responsibilty for the upkeep of such high tech toilets. Come to that , why did they accept the rediculous pedestrian unfriendly/unsafe design of the bus station/taxi stands in the first place?
[quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: A couple of years ago Craven District Council decided it would no longer pay for the upkeep of the public toilets in Gargrave. The Parish Council agreed to take on the running costs. Last year the residents voted to keep the toilets open even though it was costing each household a significant sun each yeat. In order to be consistent, if the residents of Skipton wish to keep the toilets open they should pay via the Skipton town council precept.[/p][/quote]I will agree with that but why in the first place did CDC accept the responsibilty for the upkeep of such high tech toilets. Come to that , why did they accept the rediculous pedestrian unfriendly/unsafe design of the bus station/taxi stands in the first place? Joaker
  • Score: 1

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