Consultation Outcomes (Public Toilets)
Decision Maker: Economy Regeneration & Housing Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
This report provides Committee with the outcomes of a public consultation exercise undertaken as part of the 2022/23 budget setting process, to reduce the revenue expenditure for Public Toilets.
On 28 February 2022, Budget Council agreed a balanced budget for the 2022/23 financial year. This included proposals for the reduction of the number of Public Toilets which would generate savings and allow for the balanced budget to be achieved. As part of Budget Council’s recommendations an amount of £50,000 would be taken from the Public Toilet Budget which would result in the re-alignment of the facilities. The Council currently provides 9 locations for Public Conveniences throughout the Borough and this proposal recommends:
· The retention of: West Kirby Marine Lake, Parade Gardens Hoylake, Harrison Drive (Kings Parade) New Brighton and Moreton Common
· The closure of: Moreton Cross, West Kirby Concourse (external), Meols Parade (Bennetts Lane), New Ferry and Thornton Hough.
The public consultation exercise was opened on the Councils Have Your Say platform between 16th February and 14th April 2022.
Resolved – That
the outcomes of the online public consultation through the
“Have your say” consultation report at Appendix 1 be
the closure of the public toilets at Moreton Cross, West Kirby
Concourse (external), Meols Parade
(Bennetts Lane) New Ferry and Thornton Hough be
(3) the Public Toilets identified for closure Moreton Cross, West Kirby Concourse (external), Meols Parade (Bennetts Lane), New Ferry and Thornton Hough be declared surplus to requirement and the Director of Regeneration and Place be authorised to consider other options for the sites including marketing them for sale and subsequent disposal, demolition and clearance or any expressions of interest from the communities.
Reasons for the decision:
The Council must legally set a balanced budget as per the Local Government Act 2003. The legislation leaves discretion to the Council about the allowances to be made and action to be taken. The associated savings identified within the scope of this report and approved by Budget Council on 28 February 2022 have contributed to the setting of a 2022/23 balanced budget.
The toilets identified for permanent closure have not been re-opened since the pandemic due to the enhanced cleaning regimes required. It is considered that the four public toilets proposed to be retained at key sites, meet the needs of residents and visitors due their location, frequency of use, ability to maintain good cleaning standards and in maintaining a good provision of toilet facilities within a given radius.
By reducing the number of sites this would allow more investment in the retained public toilet facilities, which are currently in a reasonable condition.
Alternative options considered:
Do nothing – this option would not deliver the savings set out in the 2022/23 budget and would require the Council to seek alternative sources for savings, which have yet to be identified. This may lead to an increased delay in implementing any saving actions and therefore risk savings not being realised in 2022.
Reduction in Cleaning and other Revenue expenditure – this would not enable the Council to fulfil its Health and Safety responsibilities for ensuring the standards of the facilities being provided within the budget envelope.
Community Asset Transfer – a further consultation exercise would be required to determine whether any of the proposed sites would be of interest for community groups to continue public toilet provision or another use.
Publication date: 15/06/2022
Date of decision: 13/06/2022
Decided at meeting: 13/06/2022 - Economy Regeneration & Housing Committee
Effective from: 21/06/2022