People power wins out in toilets row

Work begins on the toilets in Causeway Lane, Matlock.
Work begins on the toilets in Causeway Lane, Matlock.

Public toilets in Bakewell and Matlock closed this week as renovation work got underway.

And in Bakewell the council responded to people power after complaints about the lack of alternative facilities.

Traders and residents in Bakewell bombarded Derbyshire Dales District Council with complaints after the toilets in Granby Road closed on Friday, May 6.

The council responded to their concerns about the lack of replacement facilities in the town centre by agreeing to install temporary toilets as soon as possible.

Lee Silcock, owner of Wye Plaice chip shop, said: “They should have approached businesses beforehand, we could have told them we needed ‘Portaloos’. Credit where credit’s due, they’ve done it now, but it’s just a shame we had to get people power to do it instead of the council using common sense from the beginning.”

Deborah Bodell, owner of Granby Cafe, said: “I had so many poor people coming in complaining about the toilets. They didn’t make any provisions for elderly people.”

A council spokesman said that the lack of replacement toilets in Bakewell had originally been a cost-saving measure.

He said: “The district council committee that originally approved the renovation scheme looked at providing temporary toilets but wanted this project to be as cost-efficient as possible in straitened times for local government.

“However, we have listened to the views of local people and will be looking to install ‘Portaloos’ in the Granby Road area of Bakewell as soon as possible.”

The current toilet block in Hall Leys Park is due to be replaced with a brand new facility, while in Bakewell the work is to carry out a refurbishment of the existing facility in Granby Road.

The council hopes to complete the work before the school summer holidays.

Alternative toilet facilities in Matlock are available in Hall Leys Park by the children’s playground and at the new bus station.