Harrogate Council say ‘It costs thousands to spend a penny’ as they review public loos

NAKP 1507281AM1 Riverside Toilets K'boro.(1507281AM1)
NAKP 1507281AM1 Riverside Toilets K'boro.(1507281AM1)

Harrogate Council are hoping to get people engaged in toilet talk and flush out any objections as they launch a consultation on public conveniences across the district.

The council is considering the possible closure, transferral of management or change of use of public toilets across the district including;

Bond End, Knaresborough

Devonshire Place, Harrogate,

Lupton Bank, Glasshouses

West Park (Tower Street multi storey car park)in Harrogate,

Waterside, Knaresborough.

The council has said the toilets are not well-used and costly to run so it is time they are reviewed.

Council leader, Coun Richard Cooper (Con, High Harrogate) said: “We have looked at a range of factors including the usage and location of public toilets and identified five which we feel should be reviewed.

“We are now asking the public to consider the situation now, and what they feel we should do in the future”.

“With very low usage rates in some of our public toilets - particularly those outside the very centre of our urban areas - spending a penny can cost the taxpayer many pounds. Sometimes there are alternative facilities very close by; sometimes toilets just aren’t used very much for other reasons.

“That is why we have placed posters advertising this consultation in toilets which could be affected and why we are wanting the views of as many people as possible including nearby businesses, parish councils, residents and - most importantly - those who use our public toilets.

“The consultation runs over the summer and I look forward to reading all the views put forward.”

On the Harrogate Advertiser Facebook page the news was met by a flurry of puns, and many questioned the timing of the consultation, just two weeks after the council was feeling flush enough to give the go ahead to a new £9million office block.

Paul Rea commented: “Council spend £9million and we cant even ‘spend a penny.’”

Graham Hyde added: “Spend on new office, cut services, shameful.”

The council has said that the new building at Knapping Mount will save over £800,000 each year compared to if they continued to operate from five different offices.

Knaresborough Mayor, Town Coun Andrew Willoughby said that he often hears complaints about the cleanliness of the toilets in Knaresborough.

“It is time to have a talk and see what we need to do about the public toilets all over Knaresborough, not just these two, at the moment they are just not satisfactory.”

See www.harrogate.gov.uk/have-your-say for the online consultation.