|Posted by Andy Whiles on December 17, 2014 at 8:25 PM|
Last night Tuesday 16 December at around 6.15pm I presented a petition to Tamworth Borough Council which had been signed by around 1,400 people, over a 1,000 of which come from the Tamworth borough. The speech I made on your behalf is below.
A big thank you to everyone who took the time to visit our street stall and sign the petition over the last several weeks. The Tory controlled Tamworth Borough Council's decision to completely close the Aldergate loos and severely reduce the opening times to the loos in the Castle Grounds is quite ridiculous and sends out a terrible message to visitors to our town.
How can this council possibly say they are serious about regenerating out town when they are making decisions like this.
Thanks to us getting over the 1,000 signature's from Tamworth residents this decision will now be debated at the next full meeting of Tamworth Borough Council in January.
Thank you Mr Mayor for allowing me to present this petition to the council.
Several weeks ago our group were approached by local residents and also local traders advising us of the Council’s plans to close some of the public toilet facilities within the town.
My colleagues and I discussed this proposal and decided that we wholeheartedly opposed any plans to reduce the town’s facilities.
We feel this is a retrograde decision by a council that says it wants to see regeneration within the town and welcome more visitors.
Interestingly when we started our petition in September and sent a release through to the Tamworth Herald the council replied saying that our petition was un-necessary and I quote ‘Tamworth Council bosses have denied the town is set to lose its public toilets facilities’
The closed signs on the Aldergate toilets would say that that statement may not have been quite truthful!!
And I know the answer from the Tory group will be that toilets within the Philip Dix centre will be made available but this is not the same as a proper public facility.
We were told by many people who queued to sign our petition that they come into Tamworth on the bus and their first stop is the loos in Aldergate.
With regards to the reducing of opening times to the facilities in the Castle Grounds, what a terrible message this sends out to visitors to our town.
Why does anyone think that we don’t need the loos throughout the winter months and also that these facilities do not need proper staffing.
The Castle Grounds toilets are as we all know are next to the children’s playing area. This is used throughout the year and is a lifeline to many who can’t afford to take their children to places like the cinema or bowling. We need this area to be welcoming to its visitors young and old, and having a closed sign up on the public loo, doesn’t exactly say welcome to Tamworth does it.
Once again Tamworth is losing another facility due to a cost saving exercise.
Once again profits are being put before people.
In this case peoples basic need to have a properly maintained public toilet, open at times that people need and properly staffed to ensure the area remains a place of safety.
I understand that times are hard and difficult decisions are being made by councils up and down the country due to cuts from Central Government but it’s about what are the priorities for our residents.
But having properly accessible public loos available when people need them can be the difference between someone coming out into the community and being able to access the town or them having to stay at home. It’s about our resident’s quality of life.
Over 1000 Tamworth residents and several hundred from outside the borough have signed this petition and we are asking the council to review their decision.
We are asking that people’s needs get put before profits.