Relief as public toilets reopen

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Public toilets are set to reopen in a village on the outskirts of Sheffield – two months after city councillors axed funding.

The lavatories, near the cricket pitch at Low Bradfield, were among 22 closed due to budget cuts at Sheffield Council.

But Bradfield Parish Council has stepped in to save the public toilets in its area.

Coun Stuart Cole, parish council chairman, said: “We had several groups in the village represented at the meeting and clearly there is a very strong feeling that the toilets are an important facility in the village of Bradfield.

“Since they were closed by the city council, it certainly caused something of a problem for other businesses and community facilities in Low Bradfield.

“We recognise that Bradfield is a tourist area and very popular with weekend visitors and walkers so we as a council want to do what we can to make sure those visitors keep coming back to enjoy the area.

“However we do need to keep working with the community on this to ensure we can meet the on-going costs of running the toilets.”

The toilets at Low Bradfield were closed at the end of March despite a petition and complaints to Sheffield Council.

There were concerns from businesses and community groups about the loss of the facility in the village which attracts hundreds of walkers and visitors, particularly throughout the summer months.

A plan to save the toilet was agreed at a meeting of the parish council.

Council members resolved to run the toilets for the next 12 months but say they will work with local businesses and community groups on fundraising and sponsorship to cover ongoing costs in future years.

The loos cost £7,200 a year to run and the parish council wants to avoid having to increase the precept it charges households in the area on top of their council tax.

Coun Cole said: “The parish council will re-open the toilets as soon as possible.”

Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “We have received an approach from Bradfield Parish Council for it to take over the running of Low Bradfield toilets initially for a 12-month period.

“The next stage is to get a licence drawn up and a management agreement in place with the parish council.”