Public Toilets in Stourport
Public Toilet Provision in Stourport
Update: 1st March 2018
Contrary to popular opinion, we don't believe that on Wyre Forest District Council the Kidderminster councillors vote together to outnumber the Stourport councillors.
Councillors usually vote along party political lines. This is true of Stourport's four Conservative district councillors: they are united with their Kidderminster, Bewdley and rural colleagues.
All of them support the closure of Stourport's Vale Road public toilets and those in Raven Street car park. Likewise, in the name of "Localism", they support the district council's initiative to offload responsibility for the only public toilets left in town, those on the riverside.
Given these policies, when presented with a Labour counter-proposal, the Stourport Four opposed it on Wyre Forest District Council, despite having supported the very same proposal when it came before Stourport Town Council.
Labour proposes that Wyre Forest should actually construct a second public toilet block, in Stourport town centre. The capital cost would be £200,000 but to the Four this is now unacceptable expenditure. Yet these same councillors have just voted with Conservative colleagues to approve the hugely greater expenditure of £xxx,000*, and to forego a substantial capital receipt of £xxx,000*, in order to create 22 extra car park spaces in Bewdley town centre.
Let's hear the Stourport Four explain themselves.
*Commercial confidentiality prevents actual figures being legally publicized.
Explaining the Figures 18th February 2018
"Our February/March 2018 newsletters feature our policy on public toilets in Stourport.
We believe that one toilet block for Stourport, on the riverside, is insufficient.
We have listened to the residents of Stourport, who tell us that there should be a new toilet block in the town centre.
We have identified a district council-owned site on which these toilets could be built, namely part of what is currently the Bridge Street temporary car park.
We contrast our policy with that of the Conservatives, the ruling group on Wyre Forest District Council. They propose to maintain only the existing public toilets.
Labour propose two, the Conservatives one, yet Labour's proposal would cost less to the Council Taxpayers of Stourport than the Conservatives' provision!
Here’s how the finances work out.
Under Labour's proposals, there is no extra cost for the existing toilets. The £33,000 annual running costs sum is already in the district council's budget.
The capital cost of construction of the new toilet block would be £200,000 requiring an annual £14,000 for 20 years to pay back this expenditure. Added to this sum are the annual running costs, £33,000 the same as for the existing toilets. Therefore, the annual cost to the Council Taxpayer would be £47,000.
This is new expenditure, so extra money would be needed. We have produced two options, resulting in either an increase for Stourport Council Taxpayers of either £2 or £2.64*.
The £2 option would require Wyre Forest District Council to find £33,000-worth of savings. We have found those savings, precisely £33,000 from the deletion of councillors' Community Fund expenditure**. The remaining £14,000 would be raised by increasing the town council's Council Tax by £2, thus providing the necessary £47,000.
The £2.64 option requires the same £2 Council Tax increase by Stourport Town Council. However, instead of deleting the Community Fund expenditure, an increase of 64p would be levied by Wyre Forest District Council.
The Conservatives' stand-still proposal is more expensive because they propose to transfer the cost of the existing toilets from the district council to the town council. Therefore instead of the 33,458 Council Taxpaying households of Wyre Forest shouldering the financial burden, the 6,849 of Stourport would have to bear the cost themselves. Thus, Council Tax in Stourport would rise by nearly £5, with no corresponding drop in Wyre Forest's bill.
Therefore, under Labour's proposals there would be two toilet blocks in town for a maximum increase in Council Tax of £2.64. The Conservatives offer only one toilet block, with an increase of nearly £5.00.
*All Council Tax figures calculated at Band D
**If withdrawn from budget in future years, funding to come from reserves.
18th October 2017
"Stourport town centre used to have two public toilet facilities, albeit not ideally located, one in Raven Street and one in Vale Road. It now has none.
Now the town’s only toilet block is the one located on the riverside car park. A long walk from the town centre, especially for the elderly and parents with young children.
The Conservative councillors who run Wyre Forest District Council are guilty of this deliberate reduction in service. They believed that having three toilet blocks in a holiday town was an extravagance. As stated by their spokesman at the council meeting on September 27th, one block is enough for Stourport.
Labour councillors are also against extravagance, but we believe that town centre toilets are essential for Stourport. We have identified a site, on part of the temporary Bridge Street car park, and will advocate their construction in the upcoming annual budget debate."
Public Toilets in Stourport Town Centre May 2017
We believe that councils should provide adequate public toilets. An obvious statement?
Yes, but it is necessary to say so here in Conservative-controlled Wyre Forest, where the district council is trying to offload its responsibility. In some parts of the district the parish councils have had to step in - despite having no appropriate employees. In Stourport the public toilets in Raven Street and Vale Road have been shut. There is now only one block of public toilets in the town, on the riverside. A long way to walk, and inaccessible when the river floods.
We believe that toilet provision is inadequate, both for local people, and because Stourport is a holiday town. There needs to be a toilet block in the town centre. We said so in our election literature in May 2017 and we have acted subsequently. At the May meeting of Stourport Town Council, a motion was proposed by Labour councillors. It identified the old Lloyds Garage site in Bridge Street as a suitable location. It happens to be in the ownership of the district council and toilets could be constructed irrespective of any other use of the site, either in its present function as a car park or its intended function as the link between the town centre and the Canal Basins.
Councillor Rob Lloyd comments -
"We were grateful for the support of all Town Councillors present, including Conservatives. We will look forward to their continuing support when we press Wyre Forest District Council for action."
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