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Public priorities.

If you need to know what the priorities of many leading councillors in Kirklees are you need to look no further than two council news stories in May 2005.

Story one - the council is to sell off two buildings in Huddersfield (6/8 St Peter's Street and part of Estate Buildings in Railway Street). They will not be advertised for sale. They will be sold to a chosen developer and, it is understood, be converted to luxury "yuppie flats".

Story two - Kirklees Council which had 74 public toilets 10 years ago now has 36. It plans to close 11 in its "modernisation" plans.

So there we have it. Luxury flats for the well-off in the middle of town, and fewer public toilets for the rest of us.

In a recent Government report, Yorkshire has the worst public toilets in England.

"Councils spend a fortune building toilets and have neglected them", according to the Chairman of the British Toilet Association.

When the elections come round, politicians will tell us how keen they are to listen to the public. Where is the public clamour to close public toilets?

NB: Huddersfield had well-used public toilets in Market Square. A survey showed they were used by 3,000 people per day. The council's reaction - to close them down and build "over-flow" seating for McDonald's.

Paul Holmes

Branch Secretary, Unison
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2005
Words:225
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