Public Toilets - Berry Lane9th of March, 2023
We appreciate the recent concern regarding the public toilet provision in Longridge. With this in mind, we wanted to provide you with an update.
As some of you may be aware, the toilets have been subjected to multiple acts of vandalism which were repaired each time, at the expense of the electorate and Longridge Town Council.
On the 9th January 2023, Longridge Town Council made a difficult decision to close the toilets on a temporary basis after the latest and most severe act of vandalism. This attack posed a significant health and safety risk for public and therefore, the Council closed the toilets with a view of reopening them when it would be safe to do so.
Although we have faced scrutiny for our decision to temporarily close the toilets, we would like to remind residents that in 2012 Ribble Valley Brough Council decided to permanently close the toilets on Berry Lane due to the same issue we are facing today, antisocial behaviour. The Town Council fought hard to keep the toilets open for our town and we able to form an agreement to oversee and maintain the toilets.
For those who attended our annual meeting last year, it was highlighted that the cost of keeping the toilets open equated to a large portion of the Town Councils annual budget.
Following the closure of the toilets in January, the Town Council have been assessing the escalating cost of repairing damage caused by vandalism and the cost to bring the ‘aging’ facilities up to the standards required by the Disability Discrimination Act and modern health and safety legislation. Unfortunately, the cost of both outweigh the Town Councils allocated budget.
However, we are passionate to providing this service to you, our residents. We have had in-depth conversations with Ribble Valley Borough Council regarding the negative effect the closure is having on our residents and in particular the elderly, disabled, those with medical conditions and parents of young children.
We are however, currently seeking an agreement with Ribble Valley Borough Council for them to undertake the ongoing costs relating to the maintenance and cleaning of the public toilets on Berry Lane.
It will then be for Ribble Valley Borough Council to decide on the level of works they feel would be appropriate to enable to the toilets to be reopened.
The Town Council intends to provide a detailed report to Ribble Valley informing them of the progress to date in relation to the remedial repairs, renovative works and not least the measures we have explored to assist in reducing anti-social behaviour, an issue we are aware we unfortunately will not be able to completely eliminate.
We would like to thank you for your continued patience and we will ensure you are fully updated along the way.