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Home | News | Public toilets must stay: Council recognises their value to both residents and visitors
 
News | 3rd October 2019
 

Public toilets must stay: Council recognises their value to both residents and visitors

 
 
The Kilngreen toilets in Langholm are closed until further notice after becoming blocked
 

ENTRANCE charges and handing over management of public toilets to communities are two of the six options being considered by Dumfries and Galloway Council.
The communities committee is faced with cutting the budget on public toilets by nearly £100,000 before March 31, 2021.
There are 58 public toilets in the region and members recognise they are vital to communities and visitors.
The service has already cut £20,000 from the budget but councillors must now look at ways to reduce it even more.
Langholm has two public toilets: one at the Kilngreen and another in Parliament Square. Two community consultations were held in the town hall in the summer and customers and staff filled in surveys.
Meetings with businesses were also held to seek views and options on how the toilets could work more efficiently.
More than 1,000 people completed the survey and more than 300 people attended the community conversations.
At a meeting of the communities committee members agreed to develop a comfort scheme, through which businesses, like hotels, would allow the public to use their toilets in return for a small financial incentive.
This would allow the running cost of the public convenience to be removed from the council.
They also agreed to offer community groups a similar financial incentive to take over the cleaning of public conveniences in their areas.

20p charge
Other options included mobile cleaning of toilets, already in place in Wigtownshire, as well as closing some which the consultation showed were not well used.
At the Langholm consultation people suggested that a 20p charge be introduced. They said electric charging points were to be installed at the Kilngreen so it was sensible to keep the toilets open.
The town was also promoting itself as a tourist destination so there was no point in attracting visitors if there were no toilets.
In his report, Harry Hay, head of neighbourhood services, said: “Although providing public conveniences is not a statutory service, it’s very evident and clear from our communities how important they are for the welfare of our residents and visitors.
“The project team have investigated the options for securing adequate provision of good quality toilets by working with businesses, stakeholders and the third sector.”
Responses
Councillor Andy Ferguson, committee chairman, said: “This report highlights the jaw-dropping savings which need to be made in relation to public toilets.
“Our consultation has shown us how much the community depends on most of these conveniences and I’m pleased the report gave various options for members to explore to meet these savings.
“I would like thank everyone who took part in the consultation. Without responses, we would not know their opinions to aid us in making these difficult decisions.”

 
 
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