Derbyshire Dales council report: shut toilets or put services at risk

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Derbyshire Dales District Council officers have delivered a stark message about the closure of public toilets ahead of a meeting next week.

A report produced by council staff is recommending councillors shut up to 11 public toilets across the district, or face the prospect of cutting other crucial areas of the budget.

Councillors will convene for a special meeting on the issue on Monday, April 30, but have been warned that any other outcome could have a serious impact on frontline and statutory services.

A council spokesman said: “Rationalising stock will mean that better, higher quality facilities will be provided in areas of most need, but that tough decisions are required on ageing toilets that have reached the end of their intended life.”

The report advises closing loos at Ashbourne Recreation Ground, Bakewell Riverside, Birchover, Darley Dale, Artist’s Corner in Matlock Dale, Hall Leys Park play area, Monsal Head, Monyash, Thorpe and Matlock Bath Pavilion - which would be demolished.

Cromford Market Place is also on the list, although negotiations are ongoing about a possible takeover by the community centre association.

Councillors will receive an update on the possible transfer of more at-risk loos to other organisations, the proposed Community Toilet Scheme, and the 670 responses to a public consultation on the matter.

It has already been agreed that a 20p charge will be introduced for toilets at Matlock’s bus station and Hall Leys Park, Bakewell’s Granby Road and the Recreation Ground, Ashbourne’s Shawcroft, and Matlock Bath Memorial Gardens.

It is now being recommended that Matlock bus station, Bakewell Recreation Ground be explored for further commercial potential, along with Hall Leys Park play area and Artist’s Corner.

The council is not obliged to provide public toilets but currently maintains a total of 26 such facilities at a cost of £467,000 per year.

Officers say that central government grant cuts have forced the council to review all services in order to save £1million over the next three years.

See derbyshiredales.gov.uk/committee for full details.