Woodley and Whitegates Lib Dems were pleasantly surprised by the headline in this week’s Woodley Chronicle (7 Feb) indicating that Wokingham Borough Council is to fund a new public toilet in Woodley Town Centre within a few months(“Relief as battle won for new toilets is won”)”.
Lesley Hayward Lib Dem Wokingham Borough Councillor for Bulmershe and Whitegates said “If true, this announcement does indeed come as a relief – Lib Dems have been campaigning hard to achieve this result. There is a very strong demand for a proper public toilet in Woodley town centre and I feel that as Wokingham Borough Council stole our public toilets in the first place that they do have a moral obligation to give them back as soon as possible to meet resident’s demands”.
Lesley went on to say “So why were Lib Dems surprised by the article? Well, when I asked Cllr Ross a question, only last week, at the council’s Executive Meeting he would only tell me that a decision would be made in “due course”, but here he is announcing a firm decision to the press just a few days later – I feel that he has treated elected representatives with utter contempt”
Beth Rowland Lib Dem leader of Woodley Town Council said “Woodley Town Council has already offered to maintain public toilets in Woodley town centre once built. We are pleased that Wokingham Borough has now so publicly announced that the borough council is going to fund the construction. To date the town council have not been contacted by the borough about Cllr Ross’ announcement and I look forward to hearing more details about the funding and firming up on Cllr Ross’ hope that the money would be available in a few months because”.
Beth Rowland added “If true, I will be very pleased with this announcement. If Wokingham Borough does meet Cllr Ross’ public commitment to fund new toilets out of Section 106 money, then Woodley will have new toilets without the need to increase the precept as has happened elsewhere in the borough”.
Phil Challis Lib Dem Deputy leader of Woodley Town Council said “It is very annoying that S106 money from a new development will have to be used for the toilets. When LIDL were planning their building they offered to build new public toilets at no cost to the borough, which the borough refused and also the fact that LIDL also acquired the old toilet site from the borough and gave them significant S106 contributions towards “toilet provision” which the borough spent on new toilets in the library – I feel that the Conservative leadership of Wokingham Borough have completely bungled their handling of public toilets over the last few years – Wokingham Borough residents deserve better leadership in their council!”