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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Council plans to demolish toilet block

COPELAND Council has applied to demolish Whitehaven town centre’s toilet block.

The council has submitted plans to knock down the facility, which is situated in a conservation area, and the application will now be considered by Copeland’s planning panel.

Copeland closed the Market Place toilets in April – amid a public outcry – due to budget cuts, and no group has come forward to take over the running of the facility.

It leaves Whitehaven without a public toilet. A 2,000-signature petition submitted to Copeland in August failed to overturn the decision.

Council leader Elaine Woodburn said at the time: “The days of this council providing public toilets are over.

“We now need to set a time scale to allow for any interested parties to potentially take over the Whitehaven block, otherwise it will be knocked down.

“It’s still costing us money, which defeats the object of closing it in the first place due to budget cuts.”

Charles Maudling, the chair of Whitehaven Chamber of Trade, said he was disappointed with the demolition plans.

He said: “It’s a shame that something that was built not too long ago for a lot of money, has closed and looks like it will be knocked down.”

Keith Parker, Copeland’s head of neighbourhood services, said: “The cost of direct provision of public conveniences was £41,000 per year to which can be added a further £7,200 in grant support to third parties.

“The toilets in Whitehaven absorbed the lion’s share of these costs, in terms of utilities, non-domestic rates amounting to approximately £18,000 alone.”

These high figures, Mr Parker added, have put off potential new operators.

Have your say

Reading a lot of these comments it seems that many people choose where to visit purely on the basis of "there's a toilet there so let's visit!". Clearly Alton Towers and Disneyland have wasted millions on building their attractions up - all they needed was to put a toilet there and people would have flocked to come!

Posted by Piglet on 7 January 2014 at 19:46

What a pathetic statement from the council regardng the costs of keeping the toilets open,i think some of you are out of touch and out of your depth,you say it costs 18,000 please, a simple question have all you lot sat and actually asked how much income the town has lost because of stupid spending and stupid descisions that do not give a toss what the locals opinion is on the matter.The facts are many people refuse to shop in whitehaven because of parking,no toilets,no facilities and the lack of choice within the town,you always back the wrong horse, and when nothing is gained in whitehaven when the new offices are opened and congestion sends even more people to workington you will all be sitting on a throne with no kingdom and it will be your own fault.

Posted by James O on 6 January 2014 at 22:26

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