Councillor calls for cleaner public toilets

Councillor John Armour has called for money spent in Argyll and Bute’s public toilets to be used exclusively to keep them clean.
Councillor John Armour has called for money spent in Argyll and Bute’s public toilets to be used exclusively to keep them clean.

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South Kintyre councillor John Armour has called for money spent in Argyll and Bute’s public toilets to be used exclusively to keep them clean.

Councillor Armour, of the SNP, hit out at the condition of some public conveniences in the area and looked for more regular cleaning to be brought in.

And one of his party colleagues claimed that she would be ‘pushed’ to use the public toilets, some of which charge 50p for use.

The discussion took place during a meeting of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee on Thursday June 2.

Councillor Armour asked: ‘Is all the income generated from public conveniences going to be ring-fenced for their upgrading, or for extra cleaning?’

Council executive director Kirsty Flanagan responded: ‘Most of the income goes straight into the fund. The only area that is ring-fenced is for piers and harbours.’

Councillor Armour then said: ‘Is that not something we should look at? The condition of some of our toilets is pretty poor, and this may be a way of getting some extra income that could at least keep them a bit cleaner.

‘This is an issue I raised pretty much all of last summer. I know it was an individual deliberately causing problems, but the general cleanliness of our toilets is poor.

‘All it needs is for the toilet to be spotless in the morning but, if used a lot during the day, come the afternoon, it is not the most pleasant for anybody to be using.

‘I would like to think that funding could be used to increase the cleaning regimes.’

Ms Flanagan answered: ‘It is something we would need to look at as part of the budget. As you know, we are faced with a challenging budget gap for future years.’

Mid Argyll SNP councillor Jan Brown asked about the cost of using some of the public toilets in Argyll and Bute.

After getting the answer, she said: ‘Fifty pence to go to the toilet is shocking and far too high. I know that costs have risen but you want to encourage people to use them. I think that is extortionate.’

Ms Flanagan responded: ‘I can see your point there, but we are trying to recover the costs of running the toilets. You would be surprised by how much it costs.

‘What we are bringing in is only a fraction of that cost.’

Councillor Brown added: ‘I would be pushed to spend a penny in some of our conveniences, never mind 50 of them, with the condition of them.’