Future of public loos in park(s) and the 2015 proposed reduction in parks services

Below is my DRAFT statement which I  have to give you all a tight deadline of the end of the weekend for amendments and additions - the decision is now 'pending' so I want to get this into the officer on MONDAY.

 Here's my email address rather than clog up the website with long threads of amendments: stella.perrett.ifb@gmail.com. I will correspond with anyone suggesting amendments and put the final version up on here on Monday. Please give me your phone numbers too as it may be quicker to discuss by phone.

If I receive no amendments I will take all reference to 'We' off it and it will be just from me with reference to FOSAP only.
If Paul doesn't like the idea of inviting a council officer to your next meeting I will take that bit off as well.

 

Draft statement regarding Budget proposal no. NCD 11.13-14 (Public convenience service)

with relevance to proposal R-PL-005 (Parks Operation – Grounds Maintenance. Reduce work

specification for parks contracts)

To: Phil Winstanley, 4th Floor, Brunel House

Presented by Stella Perrett, Independent campaigner for Redland with input from members of

Friends of St Andrews Park. For the attention of Phil Winstanley and to be read at the January 16th

Cabinet meeting.

This statement is to protest at the proposed closure of  council-run public conveniences on

Bristol High streets and at the Downs.

We notice that on the councils website the decision is now 'pending' but with no date or indication

of it coming to Cabinet, (even though it has previously been on the list for two other Cabinet

meetings).

This implies it may be taken under delegated powers.

We also note that there is no indication that it will be discussed at any scrutiny meeting of the

council.

We understand that provision of public toilets has never been a statutory duty.

But their provision contributes to the perceptionof Bristol as a modern, hygenic city that welcomes

visitors from all over the World. They are also essential facilities for our very young, and older

more disabled citizens, as they spend money in our high streets and visit our open spaces. The

negative impact on these groups has been acknowledged in the councils Equality Impact

Assessment Form of 5 November 2015 – this is the only officers report for this proposal.

 

Maybe it is because it has never been a statutory duty that the council has provided no formal

method for input to this decision at scrutiny, that no councillor has requested this, and that we have

no idea whether, or how many of, the statements made at Mayors Question Time, or letters written

to the Bristol Post by the public on this subject have contributed to the consultation.

Will there be an officers report after the decision, to set out the reasoning?

 

This proposal has been treated as if it is not a serious issue, but for the ordinary people of Bristol it

certainly is.

The lack of a detailed report to inform either the public or the decision is deplorable. The

statement that the service costs £550,000 annually is not good enough – does this literally mean that

each of the 23 toilet blocks costs £23,900 a year to run? Or does that figure also include the 19 that

remain open in our Parks, which would make it £13,000 a year each? Or do some cost more than

others to run?

Without more detailed information, how can community groups or businesses begin to think about

the Mayor's proposal of businesses or community groups taking over the running of the

conveniences in parks?

And why was this never offered before, to give neighbourhoods at least the chance to consider

taking over and running the ones on their high street?

 

The so-called 'public consultation' on this Budget proposal has only been lip-service..

Members of Friends of St Andrews Park do not want to wait for next years round of cuts to find that

their toilet block is suddenly due for closure, with a similar lack of any report or formal

consultation.

This issue is related to Budget proposal R-PL-005, the reduction in Parks services in 2015. At

present park rangers lock and unlock the toilets in our parks. The council have told us that there is

currently no officers report for this proposal either and that they are still considering the options.

So we can only speculate on how this proposal will affect the public toilets in St.Andrews Park.

This community group wishes to be part of your consultation on this issue and we are inviting a

council officer to the FOSAP meeting on 15 th January at St Andrews Bowls Club, (we have

provided contact details of the Secretary) to give us some guidance on how much the toilet block in

the park costs to run per year and what is involved, for example what type of insurance may be

necessary, and how the community group could go about interesting local businesses, or form a

partnership with businesses, to safeguard them in the future.

We ask that this statement be included in the consultation for both proposals.

We also ask for feedback from council officers, via the groups Secretary, when you are working on

the options for proposal R-PL-005.

End

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Comment by Stella Perrett on December 27, 2013 at 11:12

update - Paul Bullivant suggests FoSAP discuss and work up a statement at next meeting - so please treat this draft as just that, a draft. I will make a version of it from myself only, as an individual member of FoSAP, and put it into the consultation as an addition to my previous statement. As a group you may be too late to put a statement in if you leave it till after your next meeting - the decision is 'pending' and is not listed for the 16th January Cabinet, so may be taken by an officer in the next couple of weeks - hence my wording.

Happy New Year all!

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