‘We want our toilets back’

The decaying toilet block next to the bus station in Brighhouse which could cost nearly �300,000 to replace
The decaying toilet block next to the bus station in Brighhouse which could cost nearly �300,000 to replace

PRESSURE to reopen or replace the toilet block at Brighouse bus station is mounting.

Brighouse councillor Colin Stout (Ind) is requesting a site visit to the block in Ganny Road by Calderdale Council’s leader Janet Battye and the council’s spokesman for economy and environment, Coun Barry Collins.

He wants the duo to speak to local people about why the toilet block, which was closed in 2001, should be provided despite the cost, which is estimated to cost between £132,000 and £280,000.

“I want them to see the building and to talk to people in the bus station as to why they feel it is necessary that we have a public convenience reinstated there,” said Coun Stout.

A petition signed by more than 750 people has already been handed in to Calderdale Council in support of getting the toilets replaced or reopened. But it all comes back down to cost, after it was revealed that five locks alone would cost £3,500 each, a total of £17,500.

“We have got to get out of the situation where we use the preferred suppliers. I have had people contacting me to say they can build it to the specification provided by the council at a third of the cost,” said Coun Stout.

Coun Collins has said that cost estimates were based on demolishing the existing building and constructing a new one, because the existing one is in a poor condition.

“It is also not practicable to adapt it to meet the council’s standards for public toilets or to meet the British Standard for disabled users,” his response says to Coun Stout.

He says the costs include the possibility of upgrading the water and electricity services, site surveys and planning and building regulation fees.

They have also included a requirement to allow for extensive security systems because the site in question has been prone to vandalism in the past.

Councillor Stout has been researching information through the Toilet Association about other possibilities to get funding for the toilet block.

He also intends to set up a second petition at both Tescos and Sainsbury’s supermarkets in Brighouse and keep lobbying the council until a solution is reached.