Town centre toilets plea is rejected

b12-1085 Maureen Cerri manager at The Art Centre has collected a petition against the closure of the town's toilets.
b12-1085 Maureen Cerri manager at The Art Centre has collected a petition against the closure of the town's toilets.

A bid to have the public toilets in Bedford town centre re-opened has been turned down by Borough Hall bosses.

Maureen Cerri, manager of the Art Centre & Gallery in Howard Street, presented a petition with almost 2,000 signatures to Bedford Borough Council in October, calling for the Lurke Street toilets to be re-opened.

But she has now received a letter from Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson, stating that the conveniences are unlikely to re-open.

Mrs Cerri said: “It is a bit disheartening really. It just feels like the council knew they were never going to re-open them, and that they haven’t listen to the thousands of people who know that we need them.

“I started the petition in July and we are still getting people coming in asking where the toilets are or if they can use ours.

“I don’t know how many signatures they would need to see before they realised that this is something that people feel strongly about.”

A Bedford Borough Council spokesman said: “The public conveniences in Lurke Street were closed in April and a notice advising of the closure was placed on the Lurke Street site in February prior to it being shut. There are two public toilets within a short distance located at St Paul’s Square and an automated public convenience at St Peter’s Street.

“A network of Council-operated public toilets remains in place in the town centre, including facilities at Allhallows Car Park by the bus station, St Paul’s Square, Bedford Central Library, Customer Service Centre and River Street Car Park. There are also several automatic public in town centre on The Broadway, Melbourne Street and St Peter’s Street car park.

“The council has also invested in the public toilets at River Street car park by installing an excellent facility for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities or serious physical impairments.

“In accordance with the council’s policy for dealing with petitions, this petition was considered at the last meeting of the full council, which resolved to request that the council’s Environment and Sustainable Communities Committee look into the issues raised within it. It was initially considered by the committee at its meeting on November 29 and work by the committee is scheduled for future meetings.”