A public toilet in a state so filthy it could rival the famous “worst toilet in Scotland” from the cult novel Trainspotting has been found – next to the local council headquarters.
Ross Bathgate may have stumbled upon the real version of Irvine Welsh’s fictional Muirhouse loo – just 150 metres from Midlothian Council HQ.
His four-year-old son, Gabriel, had been complaining he needed the toilet, so Mr Bathgate took him to the public conveniences in Eskdaill Street, Dalkeith.
But the town centre toilets were littered with needles, so-called “baking spoons”, tourniquets, bottles – and a whole packet of Tunnock’s Teacakes.
Mr Bathgate said he was horrified to discover the “disgusting” cubicle late on Friday afternoon, and raised concerns about the risk to public health.
The father-of-two, who lives in Dalkeith, said: “They are supposed to be there as a public service. There are tourniquets, baking spoons, syringes, and there were two kids who had gone in there after school.
“How they could leave that stuff behind, I don’t know. It’s certainly something you don’t expect to see in public places.
Mr Bathgate said a “wet floor” sign was beside the cubicle, making him wonder if it had been put there by the drug users or council cleaners.
He said: “It’s absolutely disgusting, I took some photos. Gabriel is only four, he was desperate for the toilet. We went to the library and they refused [to let him use the toilet], they said they were only staff toilets.”
A spokeswoman for Midlothian Council said all of the local authority’s public toilets were checked every few hours – and said the cubicle was thoroughly disinfected following the discovery of the drugs paraphernalia. It is understood the toilets had been checked at around 1pm on Friday, and the drug users were in the cubicles later that afternoon.
She said: “We obviously share the resident’s concern and revulsion that dirty needles and other items were found in one of our public toilets. We want to reassure residents that, while we do not have staff permanently on site, all our public toilets are checked and cleaned every three to four hours.
“However, in this instance, a member of the public obviously used the cubicle in the intervening period to administer drugs. The toilets and cubicle concerned were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as soon as we learned of the incident. We can only apologise for the distress this discovery must have caused the man and his family.”
The spokeswoman added: “As for the library, while there are no public toilets, staff can use their discretion and allow the public to use the staff toilets.”