Council’s new plans for public loos

Councillors Alf Abbot and Joe Plant have been leading calls for improvements to the toilets at Khyber Pass
Councillors Alf Abbot and Joe Plant have been leading calls for improvements to the toilets at Khyber Pass

Public toilets used by thousands of holidaymakers on the Yorkshire Coast and in the North York Moors National Park are set to get a big shake-up and new look.

However a task group set up by the borough council is recommending that loos which are too costly to run should be either closed or transferred to town and parish councils while others, which are labelled as being structurally poor and not capable of improvement, should be closed or replaced.

The move follows a decision last year that the council should retain the loos service operation and not put out to a private company after it was found the costs would be unaffordable, said Coun Godfrey Allanson, chairman of the council’s Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee.

Steve Reynolds, Scaborough Council’s Environment, Regulation and Resilience Manager, said Whitby’s Khyber Pass toilets would remain open for the time being after plans to relocate had fallen through.

“We had been looking at harbourside property to relocate the toilets and had found a location but we have been informed the tenant will now be staying,” he added.

“While I wouldn’t say we have gone back to square one we are probably at square two or three.”

Whitby councillor Mike Ward said the toilets were a “disgrace’”and brought shame to the town.

The Gazette reported last month how local councillors Joe Plant and Alf Abbot were spearheading a campaign to force the borough council into improving the facilities at Khyber Pass.

Reduced charges are to be made for usage of the loos which are to be retained with automatic machines, and steam cleaning facilities provided as well as a bright new look and re-tiling inside.

Coun Allanson said the task group had explored ways of reducing the number of proposed closures of public toilets and to reduce running costs by working with local councils which would have some rural loos transferred to them to operate.

There had been concerns about possible closures of loos in such areas as the North York Moors National Park because of the adverse impact on tourists.