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Toilet Scheme Goes Back In The Cistern

The decision on toilets in Coventry’s central library has been delayed again after councillors insisted on waiting for the outcome of consultation  - but the public’s views won’t be asked.

The cabinet member in charge of the scheme said the toilets had to go in the ground floor of the library building, where the information centre is as there is no other city centre option.

Cllr Dave Batten told councillors sitting on the scrutiny board monitoring the decision that library staff were being asked their on the practicalities of the move, and said many of their fears about the logistics and security were being addressed.

But he said the toilets were going in the library building regardless of their opinion of the move.

He also said that there were no plans to ask the public’s opinion on the matter.

Last week the cabinet decided they had fulfilled a request by the scrutiny board to carry out more consultation.

But Labour, Conservative and Socialist members all agreed yesterday that the council should wait until the results of the consultation were known before pressing ahead.

They pointed out to Cllr Batten that the board had requested the decision be reconsidered in the light of the consultation.

Cllr Karen McKay (Socialist, St Michael’s) said:

“It was quite clear that we wanted was to give the staff and the public the option and allowing them to be part of the decision.

“They are being offered consultation on the type of toilets and the details of the plans.

“We want to see the consultation papers, but I believe that this not the consultation that we were expecting.

“We cannot accept the sort of plan as it is at the moment.”

Cllr Batten replied:

”There’s already public toilets in the library on the first floor and the proposal is to move them to the ground floor.

“It’s not a matter of asking people whether they want toilets because the toilets already exist.”

But Cllr Gary Crookes read out a letter sent to all councillors from the trade unions representing library staff, saying they felt they hadn’t been consulted.

It is expected that the decision will return to the scrutiny board in three weeks time.

Protestors leading a campaign against the move, which had included the gathering of more than 3,000 signatures on two petitions, said they will step up their efforts in the meantime.

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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 20 Oct 00
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