Public toilets in Ledbury that have not been in regular use for over a decade can’t be reopened until a dispute between the town council and a local voluntary group is sorted out.

Last Thursday (March 7), Ledbury town council’s environment and leisure committee was due to approve a contractor to fix the building in the town’s Bye Street, which needs work to its roof and gutters.

But councillors “did not feel it would be appropriate to go forward” with the repairs until the town council had completed an agreement with Love Ledbury (in full, The Ledbury & District Community Benefit Society) to jointly run them, a council spokesperson said.


A report for the meeting said that contractors “are not generally keen to be involved in jobs relating to the council because of the paperwork required”.

This was borne out by a tendering exercise, with only one of ten local companies approached submitting a quote for the work, for £825.

An earlier town council meeting in November backed the proposal to work with Love Ledbury for a trial period of a year.

What are your thoughts?

You can send a letter to the editor to have your say by clicking here.

Letters should not exceed 250 words and local issues take precedence.

“Residents and visitors alike expressed their disappointment that they are not available for use, when there are so few other toilets available in the town,” a report for that meeting said, and pointed out that as a registered charity, Love Ledbury would not have to pay business rates on the loos.

Previously, Love Ledbury had managed to only open them “periodically on special occasions”, following a £4,200 post-Covid grant, according to town councillor Tony Bradford.

He said that sorting out an agreement between the group and town council was “a minefield” given the toilets are actually owned by a third party, Herefordshire Council, which stopped funding them in 2014.


“To go blindly into a vague agreement to see how it ends up is not the behaviour expected of a local parish council,” he said, putting the likely running costs at upwards of £10,000 a year.

But Love Tenbury trustee Liz Harvey hit back, saying Coun Bradford was “trying to make mischief” over what had become “a political football” at the council, and that Love Ledbury had shown the loos could be run for less, and had not been given the post-Covid funding.

She blamed the ongoing lack of an agreement on town councillors, but said she hoped this could be “agreed in time for the loos to be open for the Easter holidays”.