Council gives an 11th hour reprieve one of the public loos in Ely they had threatened to close
PUBLISHED: 10:37 16 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:38 16 March 2016
One of Ely's public loos threatened with closure has won an 11th hour reprieve.
East Cambridgeshire District Council agreed on Wednesday to retain the loos at Barton Road.
The deal is subject to a contribution of £8,000 from City of Ely Council, a council spokesman confirmed today.
The commercial services committee did however agree to the close the Sacrist Gate and Newnham Street loos.
They also agreed to retain Carter Street, Fordham, loos which will be transferred to Fordham Parish Council
The spokesman added: “The Fordham and Barton Road toilets staying open needs to be approved by asset development committee.”
Councillor Richard Hobbs, commercial services committee chairman, said: “We listened to all of the comments from the general public and the access group and, by working with City of Ely Council, have been able to keep the Barton Road toilets open.”
The council accepted closure of the Barton Road toilets “may have an impact” on disabled users since it is a coach drop off point.
But they believe other toilets in the city centre will be able “to serve this need”.
Public loos will still be available at Palace Green, Ship Lane and the Cloisters shopping centre.
“The proposed closures at Newnham Street and Sacrist Gate would not cause a negative impact on the elderly,” the committee was told.
Other points put forward by a local access group were also dismissed with the argument that the city centre toilets will be able to cope.
The council concluded that an equality impact assessment revealed there would be a “small impact on differentiated groups of society” they remained confident other toilets in the city “would mitigate this impact and therefore the impact is not adverse”.
As part of the closure plans Fordham parish council is to be given £9,555 by way of compensation – equivalent to a year’s running costs of their loos- and £5,000 will be paid to surrender the lease at Sacrist Gate.
“The proposed closures are based on location and proximity to other facilities in the vicinity,” concludes the report. “There is adequate provision made at the Cloisters Shopping precinct to serve visitors to the city centre – accessible facilities and a family room are available at this location.”
Councillor Lorna Dupre submitted a 500 signature petition to retain the threatened loos but could not find a seconder for her motion.