Hundreds vote in favour of re-opening Darlington public toilets

ENGAGED: The disused toilets in Darlington town centre

ENGAGED: The disused toilets in Darlington town centre

First published in News
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HUNDREDS of readers of The Northern Echo website voted in a poll about disused toilets council chiefs say would costs tens of thousands of pounds to re-open.

The toilets, part of the Victorian indoor market in Darlington, have been closed since April 2012 as a result of Darlington Borough Council spending cuts.

They were re-opened temporarily during the Darlington 10k earlier this month, but look set to remain closed as the cash-strapped council tightens its belt.

Councillor Nick Wallis, the council's cabinet member for local environment, told a meeting of the full council last month that re-opening the toilets permanently would cost £68,000 initially, as well as an extra £30,000 a year for maintenance.

Veteran Conservative councillor Bill Stenson has made repeated calls for the toilets to be reopened, saying other council-run conveniences, such as those in the nearby Dolphin Centre, are inadequate for a town the size of Darlington.

Readers of The Northern Echo website agreed with Cllr Stenson – of almost 500 people who voted, 94 per cent said the toilets should be permanently re-opened.

Cllr Stenson said he hoped town hall bosses would take note of the poll result, adding that he was still hopeful the toilets would one re-open one day.

Comments (14)

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3:04pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Bill_Teesside says...

Absolutely ludicrous figure 68k they were opened with a few loo rolls quite easily for the 10k runners
I stand by my original comments in the earlier article
Absolutely ludicrous figure 68k they were opened with a few loo rolls quite easily for the 10k runners I stand by my original comments in the earlier article Bill_Teesside
  • Score: 16

3:16pm Mon 18 Aug 14

NOTODDEN says...

Somebody needs to say ( with some honesty)what the actual costs involved are. All I have heard up to now is 68k initial costs/30k maintenance - ballpark figures. In plain English what would be the annual running costs ie staff capitation, utilities, cleaning materials etc
Somebody needs to say ( with some honesty)what the actual costs involved are. All I have heard up to now is 68k initial costs/30k maintenance - ballpark figures. In plain English what would be the annual running costs ie staff capitation, utilities, cleaning materials etc NOTODDEN
  • Score: 16

4:05pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Gamechanger says...

All it needs is for an entrepreneur to lease the toilet facilities from the council. Looks as if there's money to be made if this many people voted to reopen them.
All it needs is for an entrepreneur to lease the toilet facilities from the council. Looks as if there's money to be made if this many people voted to reopen them. Gamechanger
  • Score: 7

4:50pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Savant_NE says...

Waste of money , less than 100yards away is the Dolphin Centre
Waste of money , less than 100yards away is the Dolphin Centre Savant_NE
  • Score: -6

4:52pm Mon 18 Aug 14

hogworth says...

Don't hold your breath waiting for DBC to act.
Don't hold your breath waiting for DBC to act. hogworth
  • Score: 4

5:07pm Mon 18 Aug 14

stevegg says...

As I have said before, it makes absolutely no difference at all what the public wants, its what the council decision makers want that counts. The council do what they want, not what the public wants. The only vote that counts is next May when we can finally get rid of this shower!
As I have said before, it makes absolutely no difference at all what the public wants, its what the council decision makers want that counts. The council do what they want, not what the public wants. The only vote that counts is next May when we can finally get rid of this shower! stevegg
  • Score: 15

6:19pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Homshaw1 says...

Gamechanger wrote:
All it needs is for an entrepreneur to lease the toilet facilities from the council. Looks as if there's money to be made if this many people voted to reopen them.
Don't think there is money to be made but I find it hard to believe some of the figures quoted for reopening the toilets. The running costs are not onerous for the purpose they serve and there are things that should be cut before toilets

What I find hard to understand is how bad front line services are in Darlington compared to other similar councils. They are a joke. The council prefer to pay highly paid staff to make excuses for not doing a job rather than actually doing it when it would be cheaper and easier to do so

If you want people to use the Dolphin Centre then start putting signs up and make sure they are adequate for the job.
[quote][p][bold]Gamechanger[/bold] wrote: All it needs is for an entrepreneur to lease the toilet facilities from the council. Looks as if there's money to be made if this many people voted to reopen them.[/p][/quote]Don't think there is money to be made but I find it hard to believe some of the figures quoted for reopening the toilets. The running costs are not onerous for the purpose they serve and there are things that should be cut before toilets What I find hard to understand is how bad front line services are in Darlington compared to other similar councils. They are a joke. The council prefer to pay highly paid staff to make excuses for not doing a job rather than actually doing it when it would be cheaper and easier to do so If you want people to use the Dolphin Centre then start putting signs up and make sure they are adequate for the job. Homshaw1
  • Score: 8

8:26pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Border Terrier says...

The money that was wasted on the hideous pedestrianisation
should have been better spent on the High row toilets and the market toilets.
Did I say market? The indoor market is like a ghost town now.
The outside Saturday and Monday markets used to be very good bustling with people. Now what we have now. are a few crappy stalls on high row selling Tat! Shocking!
The money that was wasted on the hideous pedestrianisation should have been better spent on the High row toilets and the market toilets. Did I say market? The indoor market is like a ghost town now. The outside Saturday and Monday markets used to be very good bustling with people. Now what we have now. are a few crappy stalls on high row selling Tat! Shocking! Border Terrier
  • Score: 4

12:02am Tue 19 Aug 14

Darloresident says...

Will Puffing Billy Dixon and his gravy train buddies listen to what the people of Darlington want?? Certainly not.
Darlington once once a proud town with a thriving indoor and outdoor market as well as a variety of independent and National name shops..
People from miles around used to come to Darlington to shop - it was on the map as jewel in the North East renowned as a proper bustling Market town
Now look at it.This pathetic inept excuse for a council has overseen its desolation and isolation.Witness the breathtaking arrogance of these woeful civic leaders who refuse to admit that there are major problems. Other towns and cities around us are seeing renaissance as councils recognise they need to attract people to the centres not drive them away.Our loss is Stockton and Middlesborough and Durhams gain..
I still await the news on the Feethams development. I want it to happen but as time goes by I am not holding my breath that it will actually come about.
A town our size should have public toilets.Its all well and good to say the Dolphin centres can be used but where are the signpost pointing visitors to them?
The pedestrianisation is unattractive and of low quality construction - its crumbling under our feet.The market square is not used for markets -the few stalls we have string along low row and high row forlorn and unloved.I would love to see Saturday and Monday markets reinstated once again back at the market square as they used to be back in the days when it was known Nationwide. Clueless council bereft of ideas and foresight who are penny pinching at every opportunity whilst closing ranks against discussion and opposition and ensuring their greedy snouts are well and truly firmly planted in the public purse troughs .
Please get rid of them in May before this town dies the death of a thousand cuts..
Will Puffing Billy Dixon and his gravy train buddies listen to what the people of Darlington want?? Certainly not. Darlington once once a proud town with a thriving indoor and outdoor market as well as a variety of independent and National name shops.. People from miles around used to come to Darlington to shop - it was on the map as jewel in the North East renowned as a proper bustling Market town Now look at it.This pathetic inept excuse for a council has overseen its desolation and isolation.Witness the breathtaking arrogance of these woeful civic leaders who refuse to admit that there are major problems. Other towns and cities around us are seeing renaissance as councils recognise they need to attract people to the centres not drive them away.Our loss is Stockton and Middlesborough and Durhams gain.. I still await the news on the Feethams development. I want it to happen but as time goes by I am not holding my breath that it will actually come about. A town our size should have public toilets.Its all well and good to say the Dolphin centres can be used but where are the signpost pointing visitors to them? The pedestrianisation is unattractive and of low quality construction - its crumbling under our feet.The market square is not used for markets -the few stalls we have string along low row and high row forlorn and unloved.I would love to see Saturday and Monday markets reinstated once again back at the market square as they used to be back in the days when it was known Nationwide. Clueless council bereft of ideas and foresight who are penny pinching at every opportunity whilst closing ranks against discussion and opposition and ensuring their greedy snouts are well and truly firmly planted in the public purse troughs . Please get rid of them in May before this town dies the death of a thousand cuts.. Darloresident
  • Score: 7

11:38am Tue 19 Aug 14

Homshaw1 says...

Savant_NE wrote:
Waste of money , less than 100yards away is the Dolphin Centre
Would it not be good start to put a sign on the boarded up toilets telling people to use the Dolphin Centre toilets?

There is probably some reason they have not done so but I can't work out what it is.
[quote][p][bold]Savant_NE[/bold] wrote: Waste of money , less than 100yards away is the Dolphin Centre[/p][/quote]Would it not be good start to put a sign on the boarded up toilets telling people to use the Dolphin Centre toilets? There is probably some reason they have not done so but I can't work out what it is. Homshaw1
  • Score: 8

12:21pm Tue 19 Aug 14

D. Hop says...

While I disagree with a lot of the council cuts, I personally believe this one is fair. There are toilets in the Cornmill, Dolphin Centre and a large department store. The council are struggling with their budget so why waste more cash. I would however like to think that this money is going towards the greater good of the town centre, which they seem hellbent on destroying. We can live in hope!
While I disagree with a lot of the council cuts, I personally believe this one is fair. There are toilets in the Cornmill, Dolphin Centre and a large department store. The council are struggling with their budget so why waste more cash. I would however like to think that this money is going towards the greater good of the town centre, which they seem hellbent on destroying. We can live in hope! D. Hop
  • Score: -3

1:08pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Lionel1 says...

Has anyone considered that when Darlington was a busy town centre that there wasn't on-line shopping, supermarkets mainly sold food and there were no out of town retail parks? People's shopping habits have changed and there is more choice available to people. You don't have to go into town anymore to get thing's - you can sit at home on your computer and get it easier and more often cheaper. The same is happening all over the country, so blaming the demise of Darlington town centre on the lack of toilets, parking restrictions and not having a bus station (which all 3 would make some difference) probably wouldn't make that much....
Has anyone considered that when Darlington was a busy town centre that there wasn't on-line shopping, supermarkets mainly sold food and there were no out of town retail parks? People's shopping habits have changed and there is more choice available to people. You don't have to go into town anymore to get thing's - you can sit at home on your computer and get it easier and more often cheaper. The same is happening all over the country, so blaming the demise of Darlington town centre on the lack of toilets, parking restrictions and not having a bus station (which all 3 would make some difference) probably wouldn't make that much.... Lionel1
  • Score: -2

3:49pm Tue 19 Aug 14

D. Hop says...

Totally agree with the previous post. One thing that did make a difference to me, my family and friend was the presence of the Arts Centre. Lots will disagree, but plenty will also agree it was a great draw for people into the town.
Totally agree with the previous post. One thing that did make a difference to me, my family and friend was the presence of the Arts Centre. Lots will disagree, but plenty will also agree it was a great draw for people into the town. D. Hop
  • Score: 2

3:50pm Tue 19 Aug 14

D. Hop says...

typo "friends".
typo "friends". D. Hop
  • Score: 0

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