At a recent meeting to discuss issues in the Rothwell ward, the councillors attending myself and David Nagle heard from Malcolm Fisher from Leeds City Council’s property management department, who had come to discuss the closure of the public toilets on Marsh Street. We were given an outline of the process for a property closure, which also detailed the annual maintenance costs.
The council has had to make massive reductions in spending due to cuts to its budget from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat government being cut year on year, so it’s again having to look at how it can save money which is why property management brought forward this proposal to councillors. The issues highlighted included the need of repair due to vandalism, the cost of upgrade or rebuild, which could be up to £50,000, continued running costs were high, and that there are facilities in Morrisons supermarket.
I told the meeting that the toilets were in fact badly needed by some older shoppers and that whilst there are toilets in Morrisons, they are right at the other end of the store and could be a long walk for anyone with limited mobility and if they weren’t purposely visiting the store. Whilst the toilets were in need of repair, I said that their state was not as bad as many others within the Leeds area and that there hadn’t been much vandalism reported here compared to other areas. I also said that residents within the area wish to keep the toilets open and they are well used.
There were other representatives at the ward meeting from other departments the representative from youth services highlighted the face that youths are not allowed to use the toilets in Morrisons or in the pubs.
After hearing my comments and those from the youth service leader, Malcolm Fisher told the meeting that it would not be necessary to undertake a consultation and the toilets would remain open as it was clear that they are needed in the community.
I believe that these toilets are needed and I made sure that was known. I’m pleased that the toilets will remain open, I was particularly concerned for some of the older and younger people who rely on these toilets.