Decision to close public toilets brings no relief
PUBLISHED: 12:58 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 14:52 12 May 2010
I ADMIT I was wrong. I had convinced myself that the saga of the toilets at the Royston bus station was a spoof, concocted by some wit on the editorial staff of The Crow to keep readers entertained between the end of the World Cup and beginning of the foo
I ADMIT I was wrong.
I had convinced myself that the saga of the toilets at the Royston bus station was a spoof, concocted by some wit on the editorial staff of The Crow to keep readers entertained between the end of the World Cup and beginning of the football season.
It seemed too far-fetched to imagine that any local council could be so potty as to close such an important public convenience without providing something equally convenient in lieu.
In my days in local government, such action would have required the passing of a motion by a standing committee.
It seems that the North Herts Conservatives are out of touch with the basic philosophy of their party.
Rather than closing this public facility, the proper action would have been to privatise it - as in the cases of the gas, water, electricity, telecommunications, coal, steel, railway, and bus industries, so that we might enjoy the inestimable benefits that flow from private enterprise.
I am sure that the brewers, for example, would jump at the chance of operating such private conveniences, with their names and slogans in lights (subject to planning consent).
No doubt readers of The Crow can think of suitable operators. One highly respected brewer from Yorkshire springs to mind.
Oh, and maybe Royston could be twinned with Clochemerle.
IT was not at all surprising to see in last week's Crow that North Herts District Council, despite the efforts of Terry Hutt raising a petition of 2,000 signatures to prevent closure of the toilets at Royton bus station, decided to ignore the feelings of the town's people, and took the decision to close them.
I wonder if anyone from the district council has actually visited the toilets, or indeed taken a poll on the number of people who use the facilities after journeys on buses, coaches and even private transport.
The majority of towns in Herts have toilets close to bus stations.
Even Royton railway station has toilets for their customers' comfort.
There cannot be many towns whereby passengers alighting from transport have to cross two main roads to use the public toilets.
If, as the district council reports, there is no spare cash available to update the toilets, why doesn't it approach the Tesco store situated on the edge of the town to fund this project.
Some £130,000 would be peanuts to them.
Perhaps a consortium of business people/businesses in Royston could raise the necessary cash.
The town of Royston appears to be the poor relation in comparison to other towns in the county - probably because it is situated on the boundary of Herts.
Our roads and pavements are in need of repair, car parking charges are among the highest in the county, preventing many would-be shoppers from coming into the town and going elsewhere.
There is a scarcity of food shops in the High Street - it is so sad when compared to how it was in the 1970s.
Closure of the toilets is the final straw.
I believe that there are many people who live in Royston who did not know about the petition taking place in Angel Pavement as they no longer bother to visit the town centre.
HOW is this for an idea for democracy in Royston?
As Terry Hutt has collected about 2,000 signatures in favour of keeping the much-needed toilets open at the bus station, then lets have a town or district councillor on a Saturday morning collecting signatures in favour of closing the toilets.
I stood with Terry on Saturday morning in Angel Pavement where he had his stalls set up for his on-going petition. The views being voiced about the possible closure of the toilets were illuminating, to say the least, ranging from "its a shame" to "the machine- gunning of one particular local councillor wouldn't go amiss". Extreme maybe, but the feeling voiced by people is nothing short of disgust for the local council.
The closing of the toilets is just another way of getting people to bypass the bus station and go straight onto Tesco or another town. Is this what the council really want?
So come on council how many of the public are in favour of closing the bus station toilets?
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