31 January 2017
At the Oswestry Town Council meeting on Monday night, Green Party Councillor Duncan Kerr condemned Conservative-controlled for proposing to spend nearly half a million pounds on demolishing the public toilet block on Central Car Park and replacing it with a similar toilet block along with a new tourist information centre (TIC) and a café. To make matters worse a further £100,000 was approved for repairs to the current TIC in Church street.
Cllr Duncan Kerr said, “For over three years the Council has dithered on how to use the millions of pounds it has received from the Smithfield sale. I have repeatedly urged Councillors to consult residents and listen to their views. The Green Party has conducted several surveys on this and the people in the town tell us that their priorities are to tackle the empty shops in Cross Street, protect our health services and make the town centre more attractive. I can't recall a single person ever suggesting that we replace these toilets or build a brand new TIC and the Town Council has not prepared a business plan to assess the financial impact. Over the last weekend I spoke to several people using the current facilities on the Central Car Park and they all described as clean and well kept. As for the Tourist Information centre, there is sense in moving it to a more central location but before wasting money on a new build the Council should consider relocating it to the Guildhall, or the library or indeed one of the current empty shops.
With our Health Service stretched to breaking point, and Shropshire Council threatening to cut services like parks and leisure centres, the last thing the town of Oswestry needs is for its Town Council to fritter away public money on replacing perfectly functional toilets and building more cafes"
Cllr Duncan voted against the Town Council’s budget which will set it precept rise by 2%.
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