Second public toilet could be re-opened

Belper’s deputy mayor has launched a bid to prevent the closed public toilets at The Triangle from being lost to the town for good.

Councillor Deborah Biss, is attempting to have the conveniences classified as being within the setting of Belper Mill - meaning the site could not be developed.

The move would mean that the building is preserved from the bulldozers, until the money can be found to re-open them as public toilets.

She is also seeking to form a new non-profit making trust which could raise enough cash for running and maitenance costs and then oversee the day to day running of the facilities.

The move comes after Belper Town Council agreed to fund the re-opening of Strutt Street toilets during a meeting last week.

Councillor Biss said: “Having good public toilets in Belper is absolutely crticial.

“We are a civilised society, we are a tourist area and those loos at The Triangle are used by everyone from grand parents to parents to marathon runners doing their training.

“If it is determined they are within the setting of the mill then that would preserve the toilets for the future.

“I am hoping that a trust can be formed that would be exempt from business rates. It would entail action from people in setting the trust up and I would need people to come forward.

“There has been some good work going on at the council to get the facilites at Strutt Street open and I’m hoping that we can now follow suit with the toilets at The Triangle.”

The Triangle toilets have been closed since November 2, with Amber Valley Borough Council signs now mounted on the door to inform passers-by.

The borough council said would save £16,500 by closing the facilities and the ones at Strutt Street. However, town councillors re-opened Strutt Street after finding they could run them on £4,500 a year.

There is no statutory duty for council’s to fund public toilets, meaning dozens have been shut down following recent Government cutbacks for local councils.

The closure of the Stutt Street toilets caused a political row with Labour Party workers saying they had questioned 300 people, finding that all wanted toilets opened because it was “an issue of dignity and self-respect” and claiming their campaigning had lead to the re-opening.

However, Tories dismissed those claims were electioneering. A community toilets scheme in the town means St Peters Church and De Bradelei Mill open their faiclities to the public. However, Belper deli Fresh Basil backed out after staff suffered’abuse’.