ILKLEY'S public toilets have been saved after parish councillors agreed to take over their running from April next year.

The parish council has agreed a "modest sum" for the toilets which will ensure the vital facilities remain open for the town's residents and visitors.

The decision was made during a closed session at the end of an Ilkley Parish Council meeting this week and now further negotiations are continuing.

Councillor Mike Gibbons, who is chairman of the parish council committee which has been looking at ways of saving the public conveniences in the central car park and Riverside Gardens, had been holding discussions with Bradford Council officers in the run up to this week's parish council meeting.

He said: "Following the meeting there was a resolution to take over the toilets in April of next year and that the parish council should set aside a small sum for that and for some repairs and maintenance.

"We have agreed a modest sum of money."

He said the parish council would take over the running of the toilets from April 1. The Riverside toilets, which need repair work, will have an honesty box installed.

"We will take them over," he said. "The parish council has made the sum of money available for me to negotiate repairs etc and renewal of the roof of the Riverside Gardens."

At the end of last month Cllr Gibbons said he was hopeful a closure could be avoided by the parish council becoming increasingly involved. At the same time he said the proposed move of Ilkley's Visitor Information Centre into the town's library was also under serious discussion.

The facilities were threatened with closure last year in a swathe of Bradford Council cuts. The local authority decided to close all but one of the district’s public toilets along with other amenities, including tourist information centres.

Ilkley Parish Council started looking into the possibility of saving the toilets and, earlier this year, members were told they had until April 2018 to come up with a plan.

Bradford Council is seeking to save running costs of £144,600 by closing public toilets in Saltaire, Bingley, Baildon, Ilkley and Haworth.

The council says Ilkley Riverside toilets have annual running costs of £9,000 and the Brook Street toilets have running costs of £35,900.

At the end of January, Ilkley Parish Council took the “difficult decision” to raise its precept by 39 per cent to protect the town’s services.