Public toilets in Cross Roads and Penistone Hill could be sold off or demolished

First published in News

District council-owned public toilets in Cross Roads and Penistone Hill will be sold off or demolished if no one comes forward to operate them.

Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury parish councillors said it was unlikely they could afford to take on the two blocks without supporting budget from Bradford Council.

They debated the issue at their latest full meeting on Monday evening.

Parish council chairman, Coun John Huxley, read out a letter from the district council explaining it would be withdrawing funding from these facilities between September 2014 and March 2015.

The letter asks whether the parish council would be interested in taking over the running of the loos, though emphasises this transfer would not come with any funding from Bradford.

“The fact there’s no budget for these means we can’t afford to do this by ourselves,” Coun Huxley warned. “It is a great shame.”

Coun Gary Swallow agreed the parish council could not run this service by itself. He added the loos on Penistone Hill were normally only open in the summer.

Coun Peter Hill said: “Before we say ‘no’, we should ask Bradford Council what the running costs are for each toilet block.” Coun Huxley said he would draft a letter to the district council seeking further details.

Commenting after the meeting, Coun Huxley said he did not know how well used these toilet blocks are, though he understood the loos on Penistone Hill had previously been targeted by vandals.

“Two years ago, Bradford Council was talking about us running these toilets in some kind of partnership with them,” he said. “We were waiting for more information, but then things went quiet.

“We would ideally like to keep these facilities, though we do understand Bradford’s financial dilemmas. At the moment, there’s no financial incentive for us to run the toilets – we simply don’t have the budget.”

Earlier this year, the parish council was part of a successful campaign to retain the public toilets in Haworth Central Park.

Bradford Council had planned to axe the facilities to save money, but reversed its proposals following widespread concern.

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