West End public toilets in Broadwick Street, Soho, and in Paddington Street and James Street, Marylebone, are closed as a result of a contract dispute between Westminster Council and Carlisle Cleaning, part of the Impellam Group, which is owned by the former Conservative Party treasurer and major donor, Lord Ashcroft.
The dispute with Westminster Council is over a 10-year contract to run the borough’s public toilets. Carlisle Cleaning won the contract to operate all Westminster’s public conveniences in August last year after the council decided to privatise the service.
Last week Councillors were told by the Council; “The council is in dispute with Carlisle in relation to the lease contracts and the matter is being dealt with by the council’s dispute resolution solicitors and Carlisle’s solicitors.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“It is absolutely disgraceful that this contract dispute should involve the closure of public toilets in the heart of the West End. We call on Lord Ashcroft to instruct his company to re-open the closed toilets without further delay. Westminster Council needs to sort out this dispute urgently so that visitors, shoppers and tourists are not further inconvenienced by this dispute”