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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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'Keep public toilets open' petition to be debated by Copeland councillors

A petition protesting against the closure of Whitehaven’s public toilets will be discussed by councillors today.

Norman Humphreys photo
Norman Humphreys collecting signatures

But it is expected that there will be no change in a decision to close the town’s toilets earlier this year as part of cost-cutting measures by Copeland council.

Norman Humphreys, of Cleator Moor, collected the names from locals and visitors to Whitehaven Festival in June, after declaring it was a “disgrace’’ that the toilets were shut. In the space of seven hours he had 2,053 signatures.

At this afternoon’s executive meeting, councillors are due to discuss the petition, called Whitehaven Needs Public Toilets.

But in a council report it says that the authority was “not in a position” to reinstate any of the former public conveniences and a recommendation has been made that “no changes” are made to the council policy.

Mr Humphreys said that he started the petition as it was “embarrassing” having to answer that the town did not have any public loos when visitors asked him.

“It is ridiculous that this town can’t provide toilets,” he added,

During the festival there was a queue of people waiting to sign Mr Humphreys’ petition.

Market traders have also expressed their concerns for the future of the town’s market following the closure of the toilets.

Traders on the market, which has already dwindled in size over recent years, said they feared that the closure could end the market for good.

The toilets across Copeland have been axed in council cuts to save about £3 million by 2015.

Other public toilets in Copeland that have closed include those in Cleator Moor Square and Chapel Street, Egremont.

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