David Brayshaw column

Chairman  of Morecambe Carnival  organising committee David Brayshaw.
Chairman of Morecambe Carnival organising committee David Brayshaw.

Anyone who ‘does’ Facebook may have seen the recent video which Martin Cordingley (aka Boris Seagal) made of our last carnival committee meeting at The Bay HQ.

Martin has been producing some great little video clips of local groups who are involved in this year’s carnival parade and, of course, he is also well known for his filming of the Morecambe Ladies football team.

The Ladies recently played at The Globe Arena in the FA Cup and, were narrowly defeated by Stoke.

If you fancy something different on a Sunday you could do a lot worse than catching one of the ladies’ games or failing that, catch up with the highlights on their Facebook page.

Anyway, Martin asked if he could pop along to our meeting to do a bit of filming and, as extra publicity for the carnival is always welcome, I extended him an invite.

Martin’s film starts off with a lot of stern looking people sat around The Bay’s board room table and gives the impression that our meetings are tightly regimented and well run. In fact we we’re all looking so stern because the sandwiches were late.

Our monthly meetings are good fun really; we do have a lot of serious business to attend to in planning the event in great details, but it’s also where we have chance to come up with new ideas and suggestions.

There is however one item in our planning which crops up time and again and, over the past two years, we must have spent hundreds of hours discussing this one item: Toilets. Where to get them, where to put them and ‘how much?!’

Lancaster City Council commissioned a ‘Tourism Strategy’ document a few years ago and this highlighted a number of factors which directly have an impact on tourism and, one of these is toilets.

So the Council closed the promenade toilets at Regent Road and at the old Dome site which, by their own document, is going to have a negative impact on tourism.

Then they tell event organisers that we must provide portable toilets if we want to stage events, which adds £2,500 to our costs.

This seems like a short sighted strategy, with little or no thought for the tourism economy of Morecambe.

It’s not only the cost, portable toilets smell and they look hideous which is why, last year, we put them down in the old Dome Arena, out of sight.

This has further cost implications though because we then had to have ‘toilet’ signage made letting people know where we’d put them. The alternative was to place the portable loos next to the ones which LCC have been crazy enough to shut down.

I can’t find one councillor who says they were party to discussions involving toilet closures so, who made this decision and why?

Certain facilities are essential in order to encourage tourism to Morecambe, so who made the decision to close them? I for one, would like some answers.