Birstall toilets to close after two-year battle

Birstall toilets (letters' page). (030403)
Birstall toilets (letters' page). (030403)
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A decision has been made to close Birstall’s toilets after a long-standing effort by villagers to keep them open.

Kirklees Council proposed to close all unattended public toilets in 2013/14 budget cuts.

But Birstall’s loos were saved after ward councillors announced plans to use funding from the area committee, now abolished, to keep them open.

There was no guarantee, however, that the facilities would be availab le after this year.

A working partnership between Conservative councillors Andrew Palfreeman, Liz Smaje and Robert Light and the village’s Chamber of Trade was struck-up, with maintenance carried out by members.

Despite extensive efforts to secure funding, the decision taken not to renew the lease after Chamber chairwoman consulted fellow traders. The toilets will close on December 31.

Mrs Thompson said: “It’s a desperately sad day for us. We’ve tried everything we could think of but we just couldn’t raise the funds to keep it going.”

One of the main worries for them was the £1,200-per-quater cleaning costs, she added.

“If we’d have had a major problem with repairs, we just wouldn’t have been able to fund it.”

But she thanked the members of the Chamber who had worked hard to keep them open for two years. She added that efforts could now go towards putting on village events.