Letter on the Cattlemarket Bus Station Toilets from Cllr Sandra Gage

I am writing to bring your readers up to date on the subject of the Ipswich Cattlemarket bus station toilets.

On 9 February, Suffolk County Council set out and approved its revenue budget for 2017/18 and its capital budget for 2017-2020. And it is in its Capital budget – the council medium term planned new works – that funding for the new toilets should have been listed. But this Tory County Council has stubbornly refused for three years to agree to put a sum of money aside to build the toilets, so we should not be surprised to see that funding has not been included in the 2017-20 budget plans.

Even though providing public toilets at the bus station, where all the out of town bus journeys terminate, was part of the original Travel Ipswich plans, and after promises made to Cllr David Ellesmere and the East Suffolk Federation of Women’s Institute in January this year to  put a sum aside in the budget to build the toilets.

So despite my repeated questioning at Council, and by email, the Tory Cabinet members Richard Smith for Finance and James Finch for Transport have both refused to respond to the overwhelming public request for what is the most basic of needs.

But then, as we know, none of the Tory County Councillors travel into Ipswich by bus so haven’t any idea of how important this is to the many hundreds who use public transport to travel into Ipswich every week.

In my statement, at the 9 February County Council meeting, supporting the County Labour Councillors alternative budget proposal, I made it clear that if Labour gains control of Suffolk County Council in May we will allocate funds to install the toilets, to accept Ipswich Borough Council generous offer to maintain them, and in doing so respond, as a responsible council should do, to significant and justified public demand.

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