Conservative councillors call-in decision to provide temporary toilets in Scarborough

The decision to provide temporary toilets has been called-in.
The decision to provide temporary toilets has been called-in.

Conservatives on Scarborough Council have called-in the cabinet’s decision to provide temporary toilets in Royal Albert Drive and re-open the Holbeck Clock conveniences, saying the decision has been rushed and the financial impact has not been considered.

The cabinet made the decision to spend £51,000 on providing the temporary toilets and re-opening the Holbeck Clock facilities at its first meeting last week.

Labour leader Cllr Steve Siddons said it had been “wrong to leave key tourist areas with inadequate toilet provision” and that the new administration was “correcting” that.

Five Conservative councillors have now called for a review of the decision, accusing the new cabinet of not being “open and transparent”, words used by Cllr Siddons when he became leader.

The call-in, which has been led by Cllr Heather Phillips accuses the executive of “pre-empting” Phase 2 of the council’s review of toilets across the borough, which was due to be revealed this month.

In her reasons for call-in, Cllr Phillips, who states that the provision of temporary toilets is “welcome”, adds: “The role of [the Overview and Scrutiny Board] is being subverted by the executive.”

Cllr Phillips also raises concerns about how the decision looks, adding: “Two of the cabinet members making the decision represent the wards benefiting. A broader consensus is required to show openness and transparency.”

The final reason for call-in was the cost of the measure. The council’s finance director, Nick Edwards, warned in his report to the cabinet that the move could lead to a shortfall of £109,000 and Cllr Siddons said that council would review “less essential statutory projects” to find the funding.

The decision will now go before the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Board on Wednesday next week.

The committee could ask the cabinet to look again at its decision.

The Royal Albert Drive toilets were demolished in 2017, the same year the Holbeck Clock site was closed as part of a review into public conveniences in the borough.