A disappointed Terry Butcher rang me to say that the council have decided not to re-open the toilets in the shopping precinct.
Despite a heroic campaign to get over 1,000 signatures on the petitions he distributed at his own expense, the council management meeting on 3rd January voted against keeping the toilets open.
Instead they plan to sell the tiny building to fund refurbishment to the toilets in town. The committee suggested that anyone needing the toilets should go to the shops and ask to use theirs and further suggested that perhaps the shops could even provide public conveniences on their premises.
Terry said he was puzzled as to why the meeting to decide the fate of the toilets was suddenly brought forward. Originally set for a full council meeting on the 19th of this month he was given very short notice that it had been brought forward to go before the management committee.
“I thought that if I got more than 1,000 signatures then I had the right to put my case before the full council,” he told me. “Instead they asked me to put the case before the management committee and even then, of the ten members only five voted, three against keeping the toilets and two for.”
“But it isn’t over,” he added, “ I shall take this further and keep fighting for the amenities that Littlemoor needs. With the planned new car park for Olympic visitors this year the toilets are more essential than ever. “ The projected cost of refurbishing the existing toilets is £35,000 which the council say they cannot afford. Yet one would question the £300,000 spent on the sculpture being erected on the relief road. This was originally planned for the Littlemoor community to enjoy, but it’s siting, below the over-pass and beside the two relief road roundabouts puts it out of reach of most of the population. It can only be seen for a brief few milliseconds as you pass by on the way into or out of Weymouth. It would have made more sense to spend the money on keeping the public conveniences open in the area, which are used by taxi drivers, delivery drivers to the shops, visitors to the shops themselves and tourists who happen to pass through on their way to the caravan sites.
Some residents are already asking who would actually buy the tiny site at the end of the row of shops on Littlemoor Road. A council member suggested it could become a Take away, but if he knew anything about the area he would know we already have two and a third would be superfluous. Such a small site is not commercially viable and I think they will have their work cut out to sell it to anyone. Far better that it was refurbished and kept to its original use.
One council member mooted the idea that as Littlemoor has been given a Lottery grant some of it should be put to good use to keep the toilets open. But the Lottery money has not been given to the community so we can make up any shortfall in the council finances. Councillor Mark Tewkesbury is going to make enquiries as to why the planned meeting with the council was brought forward at such short notice.
On Saturday 14th January between 6.30am and 11am the drive thru dust cart will be in the area. If you have any junk or rubbish you need to get rid of, please make sure you don’t miss this. Rubbish, garden waste and household furniture will be collected, but please note that the following items WILL NOT be taken; T.V’s, Microwaves, Fridges, P.C. Hard drives and monitors.
Put your waste items out on the street for collection. If you need help putting anything out you can ask for help, ring the neighbourhood officer Sally Leslie on 206921.
If, on the day, there is bad weather the dust cart may not come round. In this event it will not be possible to give anyone prior notification of the cancellation. Some young readers who completed the Dorset libraries Summer Reading Challenge have not gone down to the library to collect their well earned certificates. If you are one of them, please go along and see Pauline who will be pleased to hand them over to you.