The £30,000 plus cost of spending a penny in Longridge

A town council is questioning why it is the only smaller council in the Ribble Valley borough contributing to the cost of public toilets.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 4:55 am

Longridge Town Council outlined the rising cost of keeping the town’s public loos on Berry Lane open at its annual Town Meeting.

It revealed how it is costing thousands of pounds to enable the public to spend a penny.

Now, in a we’re not flush (with money) move, the Council says it thinks Ribble Valley Borough Council should be shouldering the cost.

The toilet block on Berry Lane, Longridge

Those attending the meeting at Longridge Civic Hall were told there are three spending issues the Council is seeking public opinion on, restoring the town’s heritage blue plaques, installing an eco-friendly water fountain and the cost of keeping the toilets open.

The council revealed it had cost some £30,456 over the past five years for cleaning, repairs and hygine costs.The cost of repairs varied from £1,059 in 2017/18 and £1,375 in 2018/19 to £256 in 2020/21.

Cleaning staff were praised for their dedication and coping with the after-math of vandalism.

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Coun Rose Adamson said: “The toilets are owned by Ribble Valley Borough Council. They closed them quite a few years ago.”

She explained that after a public outcry the Town Council agreed to take on the cost of cleaning and repairing the Berry lane toilet block and providing hygiene facilities and commodities, so they could be re-opened.

She continued: “But we are the only parish or town council that has a Ribble Valley owned toilet that are paying for it...Over the past five years we’ve spent over £30,000: £4,300 was on repairs (due) to vandalism, cleaning was over £26,000.”

She said councillors wanted to know whether people would be happy if the council asked Ribble Valley council to take over the running costs.

The town council is seeking opinions on whether to help provide a mains fed water refill station that is: “accessible,hygienic and vandal resistant” near to Towneley Garden.

The proposal was put forward by the Longridge Environment Group with the aim of reducing single-use plastic and encouraging people to drink more water. LEG is also looking at installing such a station at Ribchester recreation ground. The meeting was told that overall the maximum cost would be £10,000 including servicing and LEG is seeking support from collaborators.