Future of Addingham public toilets is investigated

Wharfedale Observer: Catherine Coates and Chris Atkinson outside the Addingham toilets Catherine Coates and Chris Atkinson outside the Addingham toilets

Addingham and Silsden Parish Councils have agreed to investigate the possibility of saving the villages’ toilets from closure by Bradford Council.

They are currently investigating the cost of running the toilets.

Catherine Coates, chairman of Addingham Parish Council, and Mayor of Silsden, Chris Atkinson decided to get their sleeves rolled up in order to get to the bottom of the problem.

The toilets have suffered from a lack of investment over the years and are in need of some improvement. Just leaving them to deteriorate further is not an option if the parish council is to take them over, they say.

Catherine Coates said: “There is a lot of concern about the potential closure of the toilets and we feel that it is our duty to investigate the possibility of them being taken over by the Parish Council. There are a lot of issues to consider such as the running costs, who opens and closes them and their current dilapidated state.”

Chris Atkinson added: “One of the biggest concerns is the fact that if we take over the buildings we will be faced with having to pay business rates, which is ridiculous if we are trying to maintain a public service.

“This needs careful consideration and we have already been in touch with the Yorkshire Local Councils Association about lobbying the government to get rid of business rates on public toilets.”

They say this is the start of a detailed investigation to see if the toilets can be saved and one which hopefully can be achieved by getting both councils to work together to reduce the future running costs.

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