‘It will have a big impact on our villages’

People protest against plans to close  Birstall toilets.
People protest against plans to close Birstall toilets.

Traders in Birstall are urging Kirklees residents to join forces in the battle against the closure of public toilets.

The loos in Market Street were among the 11 unattended public toilets at risk of being axed last year, but were saved by area committee funding.

But council cuts mean the funding is no longer available and the facilities could close by December 31.

Birstall Chamber of Trade held a public meeting last week to voice their opposition over the closures.

Chairwoman of Birstall’s Chamber of Trade Anne Thompson said: “There is a great public feeling about this and it will have a big impact on our villages.

“To lose the public loos is a disgrace and we need to get together to help save them.

“If we don’t have public toilets then what will attract people to ours villages?”

The traders also started a petition, which has gained more than 1,400 signatures.

Coun Liz Smaje, (Con, Birstall and Birkenshaw) said: “If a community group can be set up, they would need to negotiate with Kirklees Council and the group would become responsible for running them.”

Mrs Thompson also encouraged the public to write letters to their councillors and MPs.

The public toilets in Mirfield are set to be saved after the town council agreed to run them.

Pat Crisp, representing Batley and Heckmondwike businesses, said traders would support an action group.