Saturday, 10 March 2007

Public lavatories - all is revealed


Now here's a controversial subject.
This is a photo of the gentleman's temporary public lavatories just off Risbygate Street, in between School Yard and Nelson Road. They are the best temporary loos I've ever used (far nicer than those at Sainsbury's some years ago, during their expansion) and really no less pleasant than the St Andrew's Street ones they are standing in for. Obviously I can't speak for the ladies' side, but Angela has inspected and sent a good report.
They are right by the disabled car park, near the Cattle Market car park, and nearly on the way into town from Parkway car parks. In fact they are about 250 metres from the old permanent ones, yet they continue to be a source of complaint. The reason for their existence is very well documented in the following council paper:
and the various alternatives that were examined are listed in this one:
I was a member of the Cattle Market Redevelopment Working Party and voted for the recommendation not to convert a town centre shop, as described in the first paper. I did so because I thought that the expense was not justified. I actually preferred the Prospect Row site, as this would be closer to the permanent loos at Debenhams. At the time the Bury Free Press reported the story like this:
I still consider that, since the removal of the permanent loos was necessary to build the new development, the current temporary arrangements are an acceptable solution. If we are to benefit from the new Cattle Market there have to be some inconveniences. And whether a public convenience is convenient for you depends on where you are at the crucial time. Once you know the new layout you organise yourself accordingly. I know I have.
Someone I work with was disagreeing with me the other day, explaining that he was caught short whilst in the Buttermarket and thought it was too far to go to Risbygate Street. When I asked him why he didn't use the excellent Angel Hill WC he said: "Oh, I forgot about them".
Dho!
Is Bury's overall provision really worse than other comparable towns? Are people too resistant to change or too pampered? Should we have spent a lot more of council tax payers' money on central facilities which are not far from the existing Angel Hill ones?

9 comments:

Amy Louise Mitchell said...
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Anonymous said...

Well, I guess you would see them as perfectly adequate..You're a man!!! Try having three children and being caught short!!! What do other female bloggers think??

Ruby in Bury said...

I think the Nelson Rd loos are fine for people parking in the carparks there, but I personally wouldn't walk right from town to there, just to go to the toilet. However, I do use the Abbey Gardens ones - and in fact always did, in preference to the now-demolished ones.

The thing about toilets though, is that they become part of our routine and ones favourite toilet in a town is like a bit of sacred space. So I can see why people whose usual toilets have gone are upset. I really really like nice toilets. I did a series about them on my blog a while ago, the lavatories of Bury St Edmunds (Have you seen the men's loos in the Angel? They have some very funny pictures in them).

I quite see your point that it's not justified to spend money on converting a shop into loos, and it does seem sensible that people should organise themselves accordingly. HOWEVER, this is lavatories we are talking about, and everything that's happening in Bury at the moment is very stressful. Lovely new toilets right in the town centre, in a converted shop unit would be a morale boost, and would make people feel pampered. Toilets are something we've always done well in Bury, and the ones that have gone were nice ones. The Nelson Rd ones are OK, but they are still portacabin loos.

Sara Brinkley said...

I am a woman! I agree that it`s awful when you are desperate for the loo - especially when you are pregnant! I think VERY CLEAN toilets are ESSENTIAL in the middle of the town. When my children were younger I trained them not to touch handles, seats, etc and to use tissue. Sometimers, there wasn`t even toilet paper in the loos and they clung to my coat as I negotiated the nandle. You have children Cllr Farmer and you must agree that hygiene is essential.

Anonymous said...
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Lisa Cupit said...

I agree with Ruby. People need nice toilets!! It makes the whole experience of being out in the town more pleasurable. There's nothing worse than having to walk for miles to a grotty loo. Why should people have to organise themselves accordingly? You town councillors should be looking after the emotional well being of the people. Toilets contribute hugely to this. Have you never suffered from the nightmare of being in a disgusting toilet or having to run to the toilet? Think generous thoughts!!!!................................................

Anonymous said...

To all those with small children - there is a clean toilet in The Early Learning centre which is very central and makes a nice break for the kids in the middle of a shopping trip.

Councillor Paul Farmer said...
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Sara Brinkley said...
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