ALL unattended public loos are to close with immediate effect.
At last night’s Kirklees cabinet meeting, councillors unanimously agreed to close 11 public conveniences.
Anyone wishing to spend a penny in the following villages will no longer have access to a public toilet: Marsh, Milnsbridge, Slaithwaite, Marsden, Honley, New Mill, Holme and Mirfield.
Deputy leader David Sheard said that the council was in a “Catch 22 situation”.
He said that of the council’s £1bn total budget, £500m was ring-fenced for education and a further £350m is spent on social services, which leaves £150m for everything else, out of which £93m of cuts had to be found.
He also said that the recommendation to close the toilets had been made 18 months ago, but the decision delayed to allow councillors to look at alternatives.
Clr Sheard added: “We are making cuts drastically. Over the last 18 months to two years, we have been in a phoney war because people have not felt services deteriorate to any great extent.
“At the end of the day we have not got any means of keeping these toilets open. We have tried and tried, but we can’t spend money we have not got.”
Two groups have come forward to try to save their toilets, including Friends of Slaithwaite Station (FOSL).
They claim that up to 45,000 ale- trailers will descend on the Colne Valley next year. This year, a number of residents complained about people on the Ale Trail urinating in their gardens.
Two years ago the budget for unattended public loos was £151,000, which was halved last year.
The toilets will not be disposed of for a year, giving time for local groups to come forward with petitions or proposals.