UPDATED: Cash-strapped council spends more than a penny with £17,000 town hall toilet upgrade

Wirral Globe: Councillors spending a penny in style after £17,000 upgrade of town hall toilets Councillors spending a penny in style after £17,000 upgrade of town hall toilets

WIRRAL councillors will be spending a penny in style after council chiefs approved spending almost £20,000 on refurbishing town hall toilets.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that more than £17,600 was spent on bringing the first floor toilets in Wallasey “up to a decent standard”.

It comes just months after Wirral Council came under fire for spending £25,000 to replace the carpets on the town hall stairs, which council bosses said were needed due to its popularity as a wedding venue.

The council was also criticised last year after spending £850,000 on a “Downton-Abbey” staircase.

The authority’s assistant chief executive David Armstrong told the Globe the facilities are no longer “members’ toilets” and are used by the general public, although this has been questioned by members of the opposition.

Former Conservative councillor Ian Lewis, who submitted the FoI request, said: “I’m sure the taxpayers of Wirral will be relieved to know this work is taking place and that the council is continuing with the ‘Downton Abbey’ theme of ‘period’ style fixtures and fittings for use by councillors when they are spending a penny.

"This is just the latest in a steady flow of cash with 'no expense spared' at the town hall, following the new staircase, the new lift and the plush carpet on the marble staircase.

"Wirral council really is taking the you-know-what."

Assistant chief executive David Armstrong said: “The refurbishments of the toilets on the first floor of Wallasey Town Hall are part of the same plan of improvements to the building agreed by members in 2012.

“To be clear, they are no longer 'members' toilets' they are - and have been for a number of years - public toilets for the use of staff, visitors and members and have been in need of improvements to bring them up to a decent standard for some time.

“The costs of £9,406 for the ladies and £8,205 for the gents were kept as low as possible by cleaning/re-finishing much of the existing fabric. The tiling was cheaper to over tile than repair.

“It is hoped to gradually refurbish all the toilet areas on a similar basis, given their condition, as cheaply as possible whilst complying with the listed status of the building.”

Wallasey ward councillor Leah Fraser said: "How can the council justify the upgrading of these toilets by saying they are used by the public and visitors when you need a secutiy pass to access them?

"They are clearly toilets for use by political staff and elected members and , like the 'Downton Abbey' staircase, cannot be accessed by the public or visitors.

"While I can't comment on the condition of the men's toilets, I do know that the cost of £9,406 to bring two toilets and hand basins up to date in the ladies is ridiculous - what are they going to be - thrones or perhaps the 'seat' of Downton Abbey?

"Why isn't this Labour-run council putting a stop to this unnecessary spending? They have the power to overturn any previous decision, and when it suits them they often do.

"Their priorities are all skewed - they put upgrading toilets, new carpets and staircases above saving Lyndale School."

 

Comments (15)

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5:22pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Thepleb says...

The amount of s££t that comes out of the place they should build more.
The amount of s££t that comes out of the place they should build more. Thepleb
  • Score: 3

6:49pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Mmm, it seems money is not as tight as we are told! We will be told the senior officers will be demanding on-suites next!
Mmm, it seems money is not as tight as we are told! We will be told the senior officers will be demanding on-suites next! Joeblogg85
  • Score: 5

8:28pm Wed 11 Jun 14

manic28_am says...

Don't you proof read before publishing? Go home Globe, you're drunk.
Don't you proof read before publishing? Go home Globe, you're drunk. manic28_am
  • Score: 0

9:23pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Heycock says...

So, have I got this right. If I'm in King St and I'm dying for a number 2, the security goons who have their desk at the bottom of the stairs will just let me waltz past them, run up the stairs and take my rightful place on the upstairs throne? in your dreams. It's hard enough getting past them to use the toilets downstairs.
Like all buildings in the public sector, they are now effectively closed to the public.
"Hey, I'm paying for this place...it's mine"
"**** off"
So, have I got this right. If I'm in King St and I'm dying for a number 2, the security goons who have their desk at the bottom of the stairs will just let me waltz past them, run up the stairs and take my rightful place on the upstairs throne? in your dreams. It's hard enough getting past them to use the toilets downstairs. Like all buildings in the public sector, they are now effectively closed to the public. "Hey, I'm paying for this place...it's mine" "**** off" Heycock
  • Score: 9

9:44pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Thepleb says...

Heycock wrote:
So, have I got this right. If I'm in King St and I'm dying for a number 2, the security goons who have their desk at the bottom of the stairs will just let me waltz past them, run up the stairs and take my rightful place on the upstairs throne? in your dreams. It's hard enough getting past them to use the toilets downstairs.
Like all buildings in the public sector, they are now effectively closed to the public.
"Hey, I'm paying for this place...it's mine"
"**** off"
It is a public toilet so feel free, the staff on the desk in the town hall are all polite and courteous and are certainly not goons, they all have too put up with the goons who attend the building mainly 66 of them.
[quote][p][bold]Heycock[/bold] wrote: So, have I got this right. If I'm in King St and I'm dying for a number 2, the security goons who have their desk at the bottom of the stairs will just let me waltz past them, run up the stairs and take my rightful place on the upstairs throne? in your dreams. It's hard enough getting past them to use the toilets downstairs. Like all buildings in the public sector, they are now effectively closed to the public. "Hey, I'm paying for this place...it's mine" "**** off"[/p][/quote]It is a public toilet so feel free, the staff on the desk in the town hall are all polite and courteous and are certainly not goons, they all have too put up with the goons who attend the building mainly 66 of them. Thepleb
  • Score: 12

11:55pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

I find this discussion about the toilet on the first floor very intriguing. The only toilet I have ever seen cannot be accessed by the public so how can they use it? Given you need an identity dared to swipe yourself around, how can they use it?

I agree with the Pleb regarding the security at the Town Hall. Decent people who have a hard job working with some senior officers and elected members who try to treat them like dirt. Always found them to be very professional.
I find this discussion about the toilet on the first floor very intriguing. The only toilet I have ever seen cannot be accessed by the public so how can they use it? Given you need an identity dared to swipe yourself around, how can they use it? I agree with the Pleb regarding the security at the Town Hall. Decent people who have a hard job working with some senior officers and elected members who try to treat them like dirt. Always found them to be very professional. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 3

7:20am Thu 12 Jun 14

Beanie1966 says...

The first floor toilets form part of the wedding and function suite and so are obviously public toilets accessible to all those who are using the facilities
The first floor toilets form part of the wedding and function suite and so are obviously public toilets accessible to all those who are using the facilities Beanie1966
  • Score: 7

7:57am Thu 12 Jun 14

RL 1952 says...

Just a further indication of the contempt the hierarchy show towards the Council taxpayers of Wirral, its long for a long overdue shake up of senior management who think they are untouchable!!!!!
Just a further indication of the contempt the hierarchy show towards the Council taxpayers of Wirral, its long for a long overdue shake up of senior management who think they are untouchable!!!!! RL 1952
  • Score: 2

9:14am Thu 12 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Beanie1966 wrote:
The first floor toilets form part of the wedding and function suite and so are obviously public toilets accessible to all those who are using the facilities
Thanks Beanie, appreciate the clarification. Joe.
[quote][p][bold]Beanie1966[/bold] wrote: The first floor toilets form part of the wedding and function suite and so are obviously public toilets accessible to all those who are using the facilities[/p][/quote]Thanks Beanie, appreciate the clarification. Joe. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 6

11:51am Thu 12 Jun 14

JohnON says...

There are obviously on-going maintenance expenses with buildings such as the Town Hall but, as per usual with this Council, it's the *timing* that sucks.

I'm sure a good clean with some mould remover and a lick of paint would have kept the place going for a few more years and cost a couple of hundred quid.

But, again as per usual, this Council seems to take a delight in sticking two fingers up at the residents while having a good old snigger behind our backs.
There are obviously on-going maintenance expenses with buildings such as the Town Hall but, as per usual with this Council, it's the *timing* that sucks. I'm sure a good clean with some mould remover and a lick of paint would have kept the place going for a few more years and cost a couple of hundred quid. But, again as per usual, this Council seems to take a delight in sticking two fingers up at the residents while having a good old snigger behind our backs. JohnON
  • Score: 5

12:47pm Thu 12 Jun 14

WirralAl says...

JohnON wrote:
There are obviously on-going maintenance expenses with buildings such as the Town Hall but, as per usual with this Council, it's the *timing* that sucks.

I'm sure a good clean with some mould remover and a lick of paint would have kept the place going for a few more years and cost a couple of hundred quid.

But, again as per usual, this Council seems to take a delight in sticking two fingers up at the residents while having a good old snigger behind our backs.
They do not snigger behind our backs. They do what they want and do not seem to care about the electorate what so ever.
[quote][p][bold]JohnON[/bold] wrote: There are obviously on-going maintenance expenses with buildings such as the Town Hall but, as per usual with this Council, it's the *timing* that sucks. I'm sure a good clean with some mould remover and a lick of paint would have kept the place going for a few more years and cost a couple of hundred quid. But, again as per usual, this Council seems to take a delight in sticking two fingers up at the residents while having a good old snigger behind our backs.[/p][/quote]They do not snigger behind our backs. They do what they want and do not seem to care about the electorate what so ever. WirralAl
  • Score: 5

6:04pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

JohnON wrote:
There are obviously on-going maintenance expenses with buildings such as the Town Hall but, as per usual with this Council, it's the *timing* that sucks.

I'm sure a good clean with some mould remover and a lick of paint would have kept the place going for a few more years and cost a couple of hundred quid.

But, again as per usual, this Council seems to take a delight in sticking two fingers up at the residents while having a good old snigger behind our backs.
Wow, you're so right about the timing. It's clear now that this was just paving the way for the redundancy shout a couple of days later.
[quote][p][bold]JohnON[/bold] wrote: There are obviously on-going maintenance expenses with buildings such as the Town Hall but, as per usual with this Council, it's the *timing* that sucks. I'm sure a good clean with some mould remover and a lick of paint would have kept the place going for a few more years and cost a couple of hundred quid. But, again as per usual, this Council seems to take a delight in sticking two fingers up at the residents while having a good old snigger behind our backs.[/p][/quote]Wow, you're so right about the timing. It's clear now that this was just paving the way for the redundancy shout a couple of days later. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 3

11:01am Fri 13 Jun 14

pooboy says...

They needed this, as they spend a lot of their time talking out of their arse......
They needed this, as they spend a lot of their time talking out of their arse...... pooboy
  • Score: 5

11:01am Fri 13 Jun 14

pooboy says...

They needed this, as they spend a lot of their time talking out of their arse......
They needed this, as they spend a lot of their time talking out of their arse...... pooboy
  • Score: 4

12:34pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Hugo1008 says...

Refurbishing toilets is just about right level of skill and expertise that the senior council employees are capable of.
It is a great pity that this task is beyond the capabilities of the so called representatives of the rate payers to administer any kind of sensible governance.

The senior management talk a load of manure, and the Councillors shovel the load on to the public purse,
Sounds about right, remember this when you come to vote.,
Just shovel the Male Bovine Manure right back to them.
"Pick a New Face" They cannot be any worse than what we have, look upon it as spreading the trough of plenty into new locations, a charitable function, or good deed for the day.
Refurbishing toilets is just about right level of skill and expertise that the senior council employees are capable of. It is a great pity that this task is beyond the capabilities of the so called representatives of the rate payers to administer any kind of sensible governance. The senior management talk a load of manure, and the Councillors shovel the load on to the public purse, Sounds about right, remember this when you come to vote., Just shovel the Male Bovine Manure right back to them. "Pick a New Face" They cannot be any worse than what we have, look upon it as spreading the trough of plenty into new locations, a charitable function, or good deed for the day. Hugo1008
  • Score: 1

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