£25k donation agreed towards renovation of Skipton public toilets

Support: Councillor Paul English

Support: Councillor Paul English

First published in News

A £25,000 donation to the £90,000 refurbishment of Skipton’s Coach Street toilets has been agreed by Craven District Council.

The council, which leases the facilities to Skipton Town Council, agreed to the donation after hearing they were in desperate need of renovation.

The work will be financed by the town council, with possible help from the Tarn Moor Estate and Skipton Business Improvement District (BID).

It is due to start following the Waterway Festival in early May and will be completed by the end of June – just in time for the Tour de France’s Grand Départ.

Not all district councillors agreed with the decision at last week’s policy committee, pointing out there were other public toilets that had been closed.

Glusburn ward member Coun Graham Beck (Ind) said it was inappropriate to give the money to Skipton and pointed out parish councils in South Craven had either lost their toilets or were struggling to keep them open.

Coun Philip Barrett (Ind) added there was no difference between the toilets at Gargrave, Glusburn and Skipton, they were all still owned by the district council and leased to the parishes.

“If money is available to one, it needs to be available to all,” he said.

Skipton member Coun Paul English (Lib Dem) pointed out that the Coach Street toilets would have closed if the town council had not stepped in.

He added that, unlike Skipton, parking was free in Glusburn and he urged the parish council there to also put in a bid for its toilets.

The town council, which took over responsibility of the toilets in 2009 rather than see them closed, last month raised its council tax precept partly to finance the work.

The town council plans to completely overhaul the toilets, including laying a new floor and drainage and replacing toilets and fittings with stainless steel. There will also be baby-changing facilities.

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