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Time to pull the chain on these public toilets
2:59pm Friday 22nd July 2011 in Spectator's Notes
ONE doesn’t have to be a hot-shot accountant to realise that Hambleton District Council’s attempt to offload the Northallerton public toilets in the Applegarth to the town council wasn’t going to be snapped up by the town council. They are not mugs.
They cost £31,000 a year to run and it’s well known that few people use them. Why would anybody do so – spending 20p for the privilege – when there are a number of toilets available in the businesses in the High Street? Of course, these are not, strictly speaking, public toilets, but how many of the pubs and stores monitor who uses their facilities?
And the idea that there might be volunteers out there prepared to keep them open is risible. Big Society-minded folk might volunteer to keep a library or tourist information centre open, but how many would be prepared to clean the loos? Not many.
Spectator’s advice? Knock ‘em down and create a few car parking spaces.
The action group formed to oppose plans for the Sowerby Gateway project, at least in its present form, will have a number of objectives.
One of them, Spectator understands, is to find out why land to the south of Station Road near to Carlton Miniott was originally earmarked for the development – arguably a better location close to the station – but then rejected in favour of the land to the south-west of Sowerby.
Spectator would be keen to hear from anybody who can shed some light on that.
What a field
A couple of years ago, when Thirsk’s annual Picnic in the Park had a close shave with the weather, John Bell, of Thirsk Hall, told Spectator of the exceptional drainage of the land beyond the hall where the event is held.
The weekend’s downpours, particularly the one which lasted most of Saturday morning and early afternoon, demonstrated its remarkable ability to absorb water. By 5pm, when the sun came out, the field was almost bone dry. The organisers thought it something approaching miraculous.
And so it was.