Plans for new offices and public toilets to go ahead
Following months of planning and a public consultation, the Town Council voted on 23rd January to go ahead with plans to convert the town’s public toilets into new offices for itself as well as providing public WCs.
The Town Council is also to investigate if, despite tight budgets and time constraints, a Changing Places facility, a toilet for people with complex disabilities, can also be included along with two standard accessible toilets.
Bingley Town Council was invited to take on the running of the town’s public toilets after Bradford Council decided to shut all public toilets across the district, apart from those in City Park.
Following the consultation with residents in December, the Town Council has produced a business plan and will now be putting forward a proposal for a Community Asset Transfer of the public site. The CAT involves Bradford Council leasing the site to Bingley Town Council for 94 years on a peppercorn rent. To fund the project, the Town Council will apply to the government for a loan from the Public Works Loans Board.
Some results of the survey about the office/toilet proposal:
- A total of 484 responses were received: 418 from Bingley residents of whom 324 were in favour of increasing the precept to fund the proposed project. 59 Bingley residents were not in favour of increasing the precept.
- 381 respondents (79%) were in favour of applying for a loan from the Public Works Loans Board.
- 403 respondents (82.5%) said Bingley definitely needs public toilets, 41 thought Bingley probably needs public toilets, 26 people said Bingley either definitely or probably doesn’t need public toilets.
- 386 respondents (79%) were either extremely or very supportive of a CAT.
- 389 (80%) of respondents were either very or somewhat positive about the proposal to transform the existing public toilets into new offices and retain public toilet facilities.
(The full survey results and all other documents are in the ‘Documents’ section of the website).
Feedback from the consultation showed a desire among some residents for the project to incorporate a Changing Places facility. A Changing Places facility is different to standard accessible toilets and is specifically for people with multiple and complex disabilities who have one or two assistants with them. The room contains a WC, fixed-track hoist system, basin and adult-sized changing bench.
Bingley Town Council will consult its architect about altering the plans and seek discussions with Bradford Council and the Public Works Loans Board about the implications of any changes to the plans which were the basis for the consultation in December.