Friends of Marple Memorial Park have been waiting patiently for the Council's Draft Service Level Contract with Solutions SK (who will be looking after our local parks from April) to be published to find out what the council's long term plans are for the opening of the toilets in the park. The SLC has been published on-line this week but to our surprise and disappointment it is not clear what the council's intentions are.
Last year the toilets were listed for closure but they were saved after a very strong public campaign let by FOMMP and supported by many other community groups and hundreds of local people.
Currently the toilets are being open 6 days per week but not on Sundays. Friends of Memorial Park think that Sunday opening is very important as the park is heavily used by families, children and the elderly over the weekend and on Sundays the alternative facilities are even less than on other days as the library is closed.
The council is now carrying out consultation on maintenance of their green spaces in preparation for the new regime commencing in April this year.
For reasons that have not yet been explained to us the Council have withheld a series of appendices from the consultation process. One of these – appendix 5 – is understood to specify the opening times of public toilets but because it has not been made available we do not know what the council’s intention on this matter is.
It could be that they are going to start opening them 7 days a week, as we have been constantly asking them. It could be that they plan to continue opening them 6 days a week but it may be that are intending to REDUCE the days that the toilets are open. If they had been transparent and published the appendix at least we would know the true situation and because it has been withheld we are naturally concerned and suspicious.
We have asked the Head of the new Public Realm Service to provide a copy of appendix 5 and explained our concerns about the lack of transparency in this consultation. We hope they will publish the toilet opening times before the consultation ends on 20 February. So, how can you help?
Well, we need to get the message across once again how important the local community of Marple think this issue is and tell them that we want our park toilets open 7 day per week.
Please go to the on-line consultation at www.stockport.gov.uk/haveyoursay
Then click on the link to Greenspace Consultation.
Complete and submit the form to provide your feed back that: “The toilets in Marple Memorial Park must be opened 7 days per week including Sundays please.”
Filling in your details is optional but it will have far more impact if you do provide your name and address, rather than submit anonymously.
Paste the message as above or put it into your own words with your own comments. Of course you can review the full draft contract if you wish and comment on this too!
Please help us to get the message across that our park and the facilities within it are extremely important to the people of Marple.
Please encourage family and friends who live in Marple to respond too.