NOV 00] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL NEWS
Cracks Papered Over To Bowl Toilets Through
will be built in the ground floor of the library building, despite
last-minute pleas from library staff for councillors to change
a result the information centre will be moved upstairs. Disability
groups, library staff and users all argued that this would lead to
a fall in visitors.
Labour councillor -
including some previously opposed to the scheme – voted in
favour of the scheme at last night’s council meeting.
the opposition councillors voted against it. Issues raised during
the protest include the unsuitability of the library for public
toilets, and the lack of consultation over the choice of the
cabinet members have argued that the toilets are greatly needed,
and there is no other suitable city centre location.
members all voted together last night to show “party
solidarity” but were not put on an official whips, leaders said.
proposal, set to cost £250,000, means the current Information
Centre will be relocated to the first floor, the gents toilets
will be located in the basement of the building, with the ladies
on the ground floor.
Dave Batten, Cabinet Member (Development and Renewal), said:
am pleased that the City Council has taken the decision to move
forward with this proposal which will provide high quality
public toilets within the city centre.
of the promises we made back in May this year was that we would
listen to the public's concerns about the lack of accessible and
have listened to their comments, discussed the different options
open to us and come to the decision that the Central Library
building is the best way forward.
was decided that this option was the best location taking into
account the costs of refurbishing the old Upper Precinct
facilities, using a vacant city centre shop premises or building
a completely new facility.
city centre is getting more and more popular, with around 1
million people now visiting the centre of our city. People
expect to see accessible and decent public toilet facilities
when they come into the centre of a city and this is what we
Karen McKay (Socialist, St Michael’s), a former library worker
said she will continue to support the staff if they maintain their
opposition, and spoke against the scheme at last night’s meeting
made the point that if they were big enough they would back down
from it, but it would have been embarrassing for them to admit
they had got it wrong.”
McKay said she was disappointed that all the Labour members voted
whip is not applied at the scrutiny stage of discussions, and she
said it should have been left to a free vote at the meeting as it
was in front of the council because it was a dispute from
Batten pledged to keep talking to affected groups about the
development. He said:
I and my colleagues appreciate that there has been some
opposition to this proposal from library staff and some members
of the public and that is what local democracy is all about.
we must now unite behind the project to move forward so we can
provide these much needed facilities, which the city centre is
crying out for. We will be in on-going discussion with library
staff and others connected to the plans so together we can
deliver a high quality facility for local people and visitors