Council to shut town centre toilets

NRHN 09-10-12 BE 8 David Clarke outside the ripley Grosvenor Road public toilet to close
NRHN 09-10-12 BE 8 David Clarke outside the ripley Grosvenor Road public toilet to close

A Derbyshire council has voted to close its public toilets because they are too costly to run.

Amber Valley Borough Council will shut its remaining ten town centre toilets by next March in a bid to save £60,000 a year

Four public toilets in the borough have already been closed by the council.

Businesses in the borough, including pubs and restaurants, are being offered £600 a year to open their toilets to the public - but a Ripley department store owner says traders should not have to make up for lost public toilets.

Chairman of Ripley Chamber of Trade David Clarke, who owns Clarke’s department store on Grosvenor Road, says the yearly fee offered to traders who sign up to the scheme to open their toilets for public use, is not enough.

He said: “There are small villages throughout Derbyshire that have toilets - but then in a town with 24,000 people we will have none.

“We as a business are not set up to provide that service, we don’t want a queue of people using our facilities.

“Someone else might want to take up the scheme, but £600 is nowhere near adequate, it would barely cover the toilet paper.”

Amber Valley Borough Council’s leader Stuart Bradford (inset) said the authority is closing under-used public toilets because of high maintenance costs.

He said: “Public toilets are abused. Quite often they are used for everything but what they were designed for.

“I suspect very few ladies use public toilets – they always dive into a supermarket or big store.

“They cost us an awful lot of money – just to see them trashed.”

The council added ‘minimal disruption has been caused by the facilities closed in Somercotes, Ripley, Ambergate and Duffield

However Mr Clarke said toilets are a ‘basic service’ that “should be provided for by the council.”