Dramatic U-turn in fight for Haworth toilets

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen outside the toilets in Central Park, Haworth,

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen outside the toilets in Central Park, Haworth,

First published in News

Campaigners fighting to save Haw-orth’s Central Park public toilets are delighted budget changes could spare the facilities from the axe.

Explaining the revised proposals on Tuesday, Councillor Andrew Thornton, executive member for environment, sport and sustainability, said well-presented petitions and organised opposition to the plan had been a key factor in the revised decision.

“I’ve been impressed by the petitions and constructive attitude shown by parish councils on this issue, and we respect the importance of these toilets as part of tourist infrastructure, which is why we’ve taken the decision to revise our proposals and keep toilets open in Haworth, Ilkley and Baildon,” Coun Thornton added.

Former BBC Look North presenter, Christa Ackroyd, was part of the campaign to keep Haworth’s Central Park toilets open.

“This has been a real victory for people power and something the Brontes – and Patrick in particular – would approve of.

“We’re all well aware of difficult decisions having to be made, and I would thank Bradford Council for a common sense decision made after listening to people,” said Miss Ackroyd, who now runs a guest house in Ogden.

Worth Valley councillor, Rebecca Poulsen, began the petition to save Haworth’s loos, and said she was delighted the campaign had succeeded.

She added: “It is the only sensible decision.

“Haworth is the jewel in the district’s crown, and it would just not have been worth it for the small amount of money closure would actually save. I’m really pleased.”

Councillors also decided against withdrawing funding from children’s centres, opting to maintain the status quo for the next 12 months and work on proposals for savings in the following year.

Centres under threat included Daisy Chain in Silsden and Treetops at Haworth.

And plans to cut opening hours at household waste and recycling sites, including Royd Ings Avenue in Keighley and Sugden End in Cross Roads, were scrapped as well.

Mobile libraries will go, but a home delivery service will continue at a reduced level.

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