Public toilet being flushed away with plans to sell it

Toilets in Danny Road, Brighouse.
Toilets in Danny Road, Brighouse.

A derelict public toilet which has been at heart of a campaign to get them reopened for years could now be sold off by Calderdale Council.

Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) has been fighting to get the public convenience block on Ganny Road, next to the bus station in Brighouse town centre, reopened.

In a letter to the Brighouse ward councillors, the asset portfolio officer at Calderdale Council, said: “The Council owns the freehold of this property.

“The property has been recommended for disposal by the Council’s Corporate Asset and Facilities Management Team, subject to Ward Member consultation.

“It is proposed to include in the sale the adjoining sub-station which is let at a relatively low rent to Yorkshire Electricity. This will rationalise the Council’s ownership at this location.

“The Council is delivering radical change and improvement to the Asset and Facility Management of its property assets.

“To help meet budget cuts of some £55m by 2014/15, the Council is assessing how its property estate can be rationalised, providing property for disposal, thereby enabling revenue savings and generating capital receipts, to contribute towards the Investment Plan and Capital Programme.

“This is a key Council priority aiming to improve the Council’s property portfolio and also deliver substantial budget savings in excess of £3m. No other suitable internal use or investment has been identified. If there are no objections to this proposal, the Council will proceed and make the necessary arrangements and dispose of the property.”

However, Coun Stout questioned why the decision has been made to sell the building saying the money raised, if it is sold, will only be small change for the savings Calderdale Council are needing to make.

“The only public toilets in the town centre are the ones in Thornton Square.

“The Council say it will cost them £200,000 for the refurbishment of the toilets but I’ve talked to builders and they said it will not cost that much. All the plumbing, electricity and foundations are already in place.

“The Council is spending millions on a new library and on the Piece Hall in Halifax so why cant they spare a bit of money for these toilets.

“With an aging population and the weekend event the town holds there is a need for more public toilets. We have up to 20,000 people coming to the town for street markets, Victorian Christmas weekend and the 1940’s weekend.

“I have spoken to elderly residents and they said they would be happy paying a small charge for using the toilets. Along with the visitors to the town, the money for doing up the toilets would be made back.

“The Victorian’s provided public toilets as they understood personal hygiene so I can’t see why the second largest town in Calderdale cannot be provided with more.”