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> Thatcham Toilets To close?
spartacus
post Jan 13 2015, 11:13 PM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Jan 13 2015, 09:51 PM) *
Were the block to close WBC would retain the costs, and would also have to cope with the complaints from shopkeepers and citizens re the whiff of urine (or worse) when the populace are caught short on the way home......

I don't think the toilet block is open late, so unless you're talking about incontinent old ladies out shopping and squatting in the entrance to Lloyds Bank when they're caught short I think the general populace of Thatcham on their way home from a night in town aren't benefiting from the toilet block anyway. The side alley between the Kingsland Centre car park and the Co-op mini store already reeks of bio-processed lager waste after filtering through the kidneys of the local yoof...

Thankfully it hasn't come to the stage of finding 'solids' in entrance ways in the morning, which was becoming a problem for the Faraday Road businesses with the lorry drivers using that area as a free truck stop
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NWNREADER
post Jan 13 2015, 11:49 PM
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Mums with children?
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blackdog
post Jan 14 2015, 01:17 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jan 13 2015, 07:26 PM) *
Hmmm, I'm pretty sure I remember you arguing strenuously that I was wrong to apportion back-office administration costs to direct service costs in order to arrive at a true market cost of a service (my doing so was one of the reasons NTC declared me to be a Vexation Complainant). Anyhoo, what you say here is right.

IIRC my argument was that inferring that on costs will simply disappear if a service is abolished is specious. For instance they will still pay a CEO and the Town Hall will cost as much whether or not NTC directly manage allotments or pass them over to self-management schemes.

Similarly, while it might cost WBC £60k to run the Thatcham toilets they will not save £60k by getting shot of them. The loss of one cleaner from the payroll is extremely unlikely to result in a reduction in WBC's HR staffing or the cost of heating the HR office. So everyone left at WBC will cost a couple of quid a year more for HR - unless they downsize far more drastically. To be fair they have downsized a fair bit and are rationalizing (reducing) office space usage - so they are doing something to keep overheads down.

But let's face it the toilet issue is simply one of WBC passing costs from the District Rate (Whitehall controlled) to the parish precept (uncontrolled). Are they doing the same with the Newbury toilets?
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nerc
post Jan 14 2015, 06:20 AM
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The toilets in Thatcham and Newbury are operated by a contractor who employ the staff. I full time at each site. They also have a part time employee who covers for days off etc.
Thatcham toilets are open from 7.30am until 5.30 pm.
The operative for the Thatcham site says it is his job to ensure the site is kept clean and tidy.
He confirms that he only works approx 3 hours per day manually and spends the rest of his time either sitting in his room/office or doing his home shopping etc.


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On the edge
post Jan 14 2015, 06:47 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jan 14 2015, 01:17 AM) *
IIRC my argument was that inferring that on costs will simply disappear if a service is abolished is specious. For instance they will still pay a CEO and the Town Hall will cost as much whether or not NTC directly manage allotments or pass them over to self-management schemes.

Similarly, while it might cost WBC £60k to run the Thatcham toilets they will not save £60k by getting shot of them. The loss of one cleaner from the payroll is extremely unlikely to result in a reduction in WBC's HR staffing or the cost of heating the HR office. So everyone left at WBC will cost a couple of quid a year more for HR - unless they downsize far more drastically. To be fair they have downsized a fair bit and are rationalizing (reducing) office space usage - so they are doing something to keep overheads down.

But let's face it the toilet issue is simply one of WBC passing costs from the District Rate (Whitehall controlled) to the parish precept (uncontrolled). Are they doing the same with the Newbury toilets?


Exactly right - this really isn't a matter of giving communities more say its just an accounting trick and not even a clever one.


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Mr Brown
post Jan 22 2015, 07:20 PM
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It seems a bit odd to me that Councils can simply swap jobs they don't like. That's hardly right is it. I think we'd all like to try that one at work - get another department to do the jobs you don't like.
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Simon Kirby
post Jan 22 2015, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE (Mr Brown @ Jan 22 2015, 07:20 PM) *
It seems a bit odd to me that Councils can simply swap jobs they don't like. That's hardly right is it. I think we'd all like to try that one at work - get another department to do the jobs you don't like.

It is only possible because we, the tax-paying service users, allow it to happen. Our elected representatives are not holding our councils to account on our behalf, and I suggest it's time that the taxpaying public took a more active interest in where their money is being spent and worked collectively to achieve some accountability, much in the way that the tax-payer's alliance operate.


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CrackerJack
post Aug 22 2015, 08:11 PM
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TTC bought the toilets at a bargain £1 with a bit of fanfare saying that they would be continuing to provide a vital facility for the town which they thought would be worth the expense in maintaining. The ink is hardly dry on that contract and they already want the terms of sale to be changed so that this 'vital facility' can be changed and are complaining that WBC might make them stick to the sale agreement. Would it be right for WBC to allow TTC to profit considerably from the potential sale of this building for a commercial venture when the whole idea was they would be toilets rather than a cafe?

Thatcham public toilets
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blackdog
post Aug 22 2015, 08:47 PM
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QUOTE (CrackerJack @ Aug 22 2015, 09:11 PM) *
TTC bought the toilets at a bargain £1 with a bit of fanfare saying that they would be continuing to provide a vital facility for the town which they thought would be worth the expense in maintaining. The ink is hardly dry on that contract and they already want the terms of sale to be changed so that this 'vital facility' can be changed and are complaining that WBC might make them stick to the sale agreement. Would it be right for WBC to allow TTC to profit considerably from the potential sale of this building for a commercial venture when the whole idea was they would be toilets rather than a cafe?

Thatcham public toilets

Change of council, change of policy. I'm not sure why WBC are so worried about the change of use issue - they have control of it via the planning system whether or not the clause is included.
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On the edge
post Aug 23 2015, 07:27 AM
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This is simply another example demonstrating the crass stupidity of having two Councils with significantly overlapping authority. Even the cost of transferring 'ownership' from one body to the other is expensive and time consuming. Now they are squabbling over detail! We are supposed to have a unitary authority, I suspect most of us would be quite content with that. The only ones who would get upset if the town councils were abolished are those that like to play games and dress up at our expense. My old Dad had an expression he'd use when confronting bad service 'they couldn't run a lavatory' - such irony! Oh well, at least we have an answer now when our local politicians start the crocodile tears and say we need even more cuts.


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user23
post Aug 23 2015, 09:54 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Aug 22 2015, 09:47 PM) *
Change of council, change of policy..
Yes, the people of Thatcham elected a new administration to run their town council and therefore they have different priorities.
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On the edge
post Aug 23 2015, 12:57 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Aug 23 2015, 10:54 AM) *
Yes, the people of Thatcham elected a new administration to run their town council and therefore they have different priorities.


Did they?


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Berkshirelad
post Aug 24 2015, 01:08 PM
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QUOTE (nerc @ Jan 12 2015, 06:04 PM) *
£35,000 per annum for cleaning and staff ?.

The attendant does the cleaning as i understand and receives a salary of £19.000.

Whos ripping who off?.


Actually, not too far off the mark.

A salary of £19K will attract employers costs in addition to the salary (NI. pension, etc,) and would need to include holiday cover, etc.
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