Public toilets – lessons from Tories in Richmond

A couple of months ago, this report was discussed at full council about some public toilets in Ormskirk. There was little doubt that the toilets were costing too much – equivalent to a cost of £7.41 for each use of the facility.

The paper proposed that the toilets should be removed and the money saved should be spent on doing up other loos nearby.

At the time we were some concerns by Labour councillors that the report suggests that people could go to the local pub instead. I don’t know what the landlord thinks, but I’d be unhappy with the council proposition.

However, I noticed an article in the Richmond and Twickenham Times the other week which talked about a community toilet scheme setup up by the Tories last year (before they lost power). I can’t find the article now, but there is a council press release about the scheme getting national recognition as good practice.

If public toilets must be removed, then doesn’t it make sense to pay local pubs or venues to let the public use their loos? I’m sure that the Tories must pass on best practice from one authority to another and I’m surprised that it wasn’t suggested here.

As an aside… the Tories lost control of Richmond upon Thames in this year’s elections – partly because the Lib Dems hammered them in the press and leaflets about this scheme (amongst other things). Now they are in control, the Lib Dems have said that the scheme will continue and are even taking the credit for it! Typical “say anything to win” tactics yet again from the LD’s. I could never, ever, trust one of them.

conference – just visiting

With this year’s conference just a few miles away, you’d think that I’d sort out my pass and make sure I was going. Well… it didn’t happen. Mainly because I didn’t know if I was going to be busy with work (which I am) and that our little Joel is one on Tuesday.

Next year, I’ll be more organised.

Picked up the conference magazine today and there is still plenty going on outside the secure conference bubble, so I can get along after work.

It’s a shame that all the progress events are inside the secure area because one of the most interesting things will be to compare the compass and progress events – that, and I suppose the leadership gossip.