Council sending us down the pan

Friday 14th November 2014 12:00 am
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Keith Baldry, district councillor for Yealmpton, writes: I have followed the recent correspondence about the ­closure and charging for public lavatories in the South Hams. In 2013 I presented a paper to a district council scrutiny committee, pointing out the public health implications resulting from closing public lavatories. I demonstrated that the lack of public lavatories ignores a basic human requirement; it causes social isolation; encourages unhygienic practices; and is often gender discriminatory. At the committee there was widespread support for my views. The minutes show: 'Several members congratulated Cllr Baldry on an excellent paper [...] They added that, while they acknowledged that the authority was experiencing severe financial constraints and, as such, savings had to be made, it was their view that public conveniences should be considered an essential front-line service (albeit discretionary) that met a basic human need.' I am therefore appalled that the council has gone ahead with a winter closure of public ­lavatories across the district. The financial savings are ­relatively small, but the health risks are high. Our Victorian forebears saw the need to ­provide public lavatories. Why does the district council wish to make us a less-civilised society? If anyone wants to read my paper in full, I would be happy to supply a copy. Call 01752 881402.

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