Askrigg toilets win temporary reprieve and cash towards long-term plan

Askrigg Village Hall.

By Betsy Everett

The public toilets in Askrigg which closed last year through lack of funding have earned a temporary reprieve thanks in part to a county council grant.

North Yorkshire County Councillor John Blackie says a total of £750, which Askrigg and Low Abbotside parish council have agreed to match-fund, will be paid within four to six weeks. It will enable the toilets in the village hall to reopen from Easter to October 2018.

Mr Blackie says he has added an extra £150 to the Askrigg village hall committee’s grant request, to allow the committee “a little financial headroom” towards the long-term solution of converting the disabled toilet in the village for general use.
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The £750 is half the amount which was awarded annually by Richmondshire District Council to clean and maintain the facilities for public use. This was an arrangement which last for 25 years and enabled the village hall committee to share its own toilet facilities with the general public.

When in ceased last year the toilets were forced to close.

In his submission to the Upper Dales Locality Budget for the money, on behalf of the committee, Mr Blackie said “deeply rural areas” such as Askrigg depended heavily on tourism and the “thousands of visitors” who came to the village had an expectation of a public convenience.

“The offer of a grant to re-open the public toilets for the main season, Easter to end of October . . .  match-funded by a contribution from Askrigg and Low Abbotside Parish Council, will bring back into use a public facility of importance for the time of the year when it is most needed,” he wrote.