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Councillors bid to gauge demand for threatened Worth Valley public toilets
5:58am Sunday 15th June 2014 in News
Councillor Gary Swallow outside the toilets next to Cross Roads Park, which are threatened with closure
COUNCIL members have agreed that a threatened Worth Valley public toilet block should be allowed to close.
Members of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council discussed Bradford Council's plans to shut the public toilets at Penistone Hill and in Cross Roads.
They accepted that there is not a huge demand for the Penistone Hill facilities, but expressed uncertainty over levels of use of the Cross Roads toilets.
Councillor Gary Swallow reported that he and Coun Peter Hill had met with Bradford Council officers to talk about Bradford’s suggestion that the parish council take responsibility for the running of these toilets.
The district council officers reported that the staffing and transport costs for the toilet blocks currently come to £6,000 per year for each facility, along with £1,100 worth of consumables for each block.
Commenting after Haworth council's latest meeting this month (June), a spokesman for the parish council said: "It was considered that these running costs were way outside what we could consider taking on.
"The other main issue was that there were no figures as to the usage of these facilities. Council members agreed that the Penistone Hill facilities should be allowed to close. With regards to the Cross Roads toilets, we have no idea at the moment how many people use these.
"It was agreed that unless it was established that there was significant usage of these facilities then the parish council should take no further action and allow these facilities to close also.
"We've asked Bradford Council if they have any indication of footfall at the Cross Roads site before considering the matter further."
Also speaking after the meeting, Coun Swallow emphasised that it would be unrealistic for the parish council to take over and pay for the two toilet blocks' upkeep.
"They cost about £8,000 a year each to run, and our total annual budget is only about £40,000, so we couldn't possibly find the money," he said.
"We don't think the Penistone Hill toilets are used heavily at all, as it is they are only open in the summer months.
"The Cross Roads toilets do have houses around them, and the park adjacent. But then most of the park users are people who live locally, so they'd probably use the toilets in their own homes."
He added that if no one can be found to take over the Penistone Hill block he would prefer to see this property knocked down.
People wanting to respond to Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council's appeal for information about how well the two toilet blocks are used, can contact the council via its website.
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