Bid to reassure residents over public toilets closure in Atherstone

Atherstone residents worried about being caught short because of a lack of public toilets in the town on bank holidays have been told that any potential issues could be short-term.

Atherstone's Station Street public toilets have now closed but councillors have hinted at a new role for the site which will address concerns about the lack of alternatives on Bank Holidays
Atherstone's Station Street public toilets have now closed but councillors have hinted at a new role for the site which will address concerns about the lack of alternatives on Bank Holidays

The issue was raised by two members of the public during the resources board meeting of North Warwickshire Borough Council last Monday, March 28. It follows the decision to close the facilities at the town centre bus station.

Committee chairman Cllr Caroline Symonds (Con, Coleshill South) explained: “As we are all aware, the council has taken the difficult decision to close the public conveniences in Station Street, Atherstone, due to the costs of operating and maintaining them when the pressures on the council’s budget remains very high.

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“One of the reasons why this decision was taken was because alternative public facilities do exist within a short distance from the Station Street site at the main council offices and Atherstone Leisure Centre. Both of these provide safe, accessible facilities within fully staffed public buildings free from the anti-social behaviour that affects the standalone public conveniences.

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“These facilities will continue to stay open to the public on the same basis as they are now. New signage has already been commissioned to point residents and visitors to these alternative public facilities in the town and there are also several private sector providers in Atherstone.

“Although the public conveniences in Station Street will close at the end of March, the council is confident that, through working with the private sector, an enhanced facility on that site - including the provision of publicly accessible toilets - will be developed over the coming months. This means that the disruption over bank holidays will be kept to a minimum.”

Cllr Symonds added that a petition against the closure of the Station Street toilets had been received by the council and would be dealt with in line with its established processes. She also explained that officers had been asked to look into creating a disabled peoples forum following another suggestion by a member of the public.

Councillors at January’s resources board meeting took the decision to pull the plug on the public toilets after hearing that such a move would save the council more than £32,000 each year.