Councillor lashes out over toilets ‘sniping’

A councillor has angrily hit back at criticism over the closure of Belper’s public toilets.

Alan Cox’s remarks came after a comment on the Belper News website said urinating against the side of buildings would become commonplace , with the author asking people to remember the closures come election time.

Cllr Cox, an Amber Valley borough councillor and Belper town councillor, claimed “irresponsible people” were urinating against walls even when the toilets were open in the evenings.

He went on to reveal that the council was considering opening up its toilet in the Coppice Car Park to plug the gap.

He said: “There will be more toilets open after the Community Toilet Scheme comes into operation.”

“I trust that those people who are always sniping at the efforts of their local councillors will put themselves up for election in 2015.

“If elected, they can then see if they can do better - or perhaps they find it easier to knock others rather than do something themselves.

“Incidentally, residents in Belper now pay less Council Tax than those in Alfreton, Ripley, Somercotes, Kilburn, Denby, as well as quite a few villages.”

At the end of last month, Chucklebutties Play Centre pleaded for Amber Valley borough councillors to open public toilets in Belper’s River Gardens for longer after staff allegedly suffered abuse from people told they could not use the centre’s loos.

Some people were urinating against the side of their building when the nearby Gardens’ toilets were locked, it emerged.

Loos at Belper’s Strutt Street will close at the end of March after three businesses agreed to fill the void by opening up their toilets.

Loos at the Triangle in Belper have already closed. They will be replaced by Fresh Basil, St Peter’s Church and De Bradelei Mill, which have agreed to open up their facilities to the public.

Public toilets in Duffield have been replaced by Appletree Medical Practice, while the loos in Heage are being provided by the Black Boy pub.

The borough council is due to carry out checks to ensure the replacements are up to scratch.

Last week’s web comment - written under the psuedonym “Countryside” - went on to ask councillors to spend less on Belper in Bloom in favour of the toilets.

Belper won the best large town category at last year’s Britina in Bloom Awards.

Cllr Cox added: “The flower beds, hanging baskets and flower displays were sponsored by local residents and businesses.

Do residents really want to have no flowers around the town?”