Before targeting our criticism at Sheffield Council, let’s not forget that the council is facing the largest cuts in its expenditure in living memory.
This government, through the Local Government Minister Eric Pickles, has targeted northern cities for the most swingeing cuts, letting the affluent southern councils off with few, if any cuts.
This means that Sheffield Council has the unenviable job of finding savings in essential services valued and needed by the people of Sheffield.
As a Member of the Rivelin Valley Conservation Group, I want the council to think again about closing the Rivelin toilets.
Provision of these facilities is essential as, apart from the toilets two miles to the east at the Pudding Ladies Cafe, near Malin Bridge, these are the only ones available to people who walk the Rivelin Nature Trail.
The toilets, at the western end of the nature trail were provided by the council at great cost only a few years ago.
Close by has been created, again at significant cost to the council and with the hard work of many members of the conservation group volunteer task team, a restored Mill Pond, a car park, an outdoor classroom for schools, a picnic area, footpaths and a willow tunnel.
These facilities attract large numbers of people who walk the nature trail, as well as school parties, and others who visit the Rivelin Mill area by car.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see what the result of the closure would mean for these people and, as with other toilet closures proposed throughout the city, the absence of these facilities would be totally unacceptable.
One suggestion to help keep the toilets open would be to make a nominal charge for using them, as is the case in the Pond Street Bus Station.
If that is what it takes, I’m sure most people would be willing to contribute.
Come on Sheffield Council, let’s have some creative thinking!
Derek Hastings S10