Letters: ‘Lack of use is no reason for public toilet closures’

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With Westminster’s incestuous commitment to London and the Home Counties, HBC are faced with unenviable decisions on cuts.

With a rapidly ageing resident and visiting population, fewer public toilets doesn’t sound like a good idea (Advertiser, August 6).

“Lack of usage” has been mentioned as a possible justification for closure; but is that not partly due to the curious idea that bodily functions lay dormant between 8pm and 8am? Could this be overcome by introducing turnstiles with a 20p charge?

Possible “change of use” is intriguing, but to what; could we have more details please?

“Transfer of management” sounds like a euphemism for some form of privatisation. If this is on the cards, could we have a cast iron assurance that the council will ensure, spontaneous checks and ruthlessly invoke penalty clauses? This will ensure that public service does not pay second fiddle to profit.

I don’t think we wish, yet again, to be sold fine promises of upgrades, only to find that they have been “paused” once the deal has been done. Neither do we wish to find toilets disappearing, like bus services, at the whim of nameless, faceless bottom-liners.

Malcolm Wright

Grove Road, Harrogate

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I cannot see any point in consulting with local people about public toilets.

Most will already know which shops have facilities and would seldom use public ones.

Harrogate is a Spa Town, attracting visitors, many elderly, who, on arrival have no idea about where public toilets are or where the shops with toilets are.

Harrogate should provide good quality, well signposted facilities for the convenience of visitors, not residents.

It would be interesting to find out how much money the council waste in carrying out rediculous consultations, including the table tennis table for Woodfield, when they should be capable of making decisions,in the job they are paid to do, without having the scapegoat of blaming a consultation for a bad decision.

Jeff Wormald

Harrogate

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Best solution is self-cleaning

Following the debate on whether the number of toilets needed in Harrogate are necessary I would endorse most people’s comments that the public toilets are, in the main, not nice places to visit, being smelly and dirty.

This is not just a Harrogate Council issue, it seems to be a general UK issue. We do need toilets available though, both for disabled, the old and young as well as the general public.

I find the comments that people should use the ones provided by shops and bars instead ludicrous. Why should they provide these facilities for everyone in town whether they shop/eat/drink there or not?

I know this will happen to a degree anyway and it may well increase sales in some shops but it also increases their costs in maintaining their toilets.

Personally as a shop owner I wouldn’t want my shop used as a convenience (pardon the pun) or for my staff to spend all their time cleaning them.

Some years ago I visited Darlington and they had public toilet cubicles in the centre of town, in the shopping precinct, suitable for all users, including disabled, that were self cleaning.

It would seem to me whilst the initial cost of installation may be high, it should, I would imagine, be cheaper to run in the long term.

Maybe this a solution the council should consider as an alternative and make Harrogate an even happier place.

Sandra Lawrence

Pateley Bridge