Public toilets update

Fears that Birstall’s public toilets would be closed have been flushed out after a traders’ group signed a lease for the facilities.

Birstall Chamber of Trade has taken responsibilty for the loos after they were set to close following council cuts.

Kirklees Council proposed to shut all unattended toilets in the district as part of 2012/13 budget cuts.

But they will now remain open in the village until the end of the year, thanks to an area committee funding grant of £6,140.90.

The money from the Birstall and Birkenshaw ward will fund all the costs of the loos, including water charges, business rates and internal and external repairs.

Birstall Chamber of Trade chairwoman Anne Thompson signed the lease on behalf of the group and said she was delighted with the outcome.

She said: “We have been eating, sleeping and drinking the lease and we could not be happier that all the hard work has paid off.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved as the community really got behind the campaign to keep them open.”

The traders’ group launched a petition last July, which gained more than 2,000 signatures in support.

The lease will run until December 31 this year, but Mrs Thompson is hopeful a long-term plan can be agreed for the facilities.

She said: “We will have to see what funding we have next year but signing the lease gives us breathing space.

“Kirklees Council may not grant a further lease beyond this year, but we now have the time to look into all our options to make sure they stay open.”

Mrs Thompson also thanked the traders and Brearleys Solicitors for their help in securing the lease.