Petition launched to fight closure of public toilets

The toilets on St John's Road. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The toilets on St John's Road. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A PETITION has been launched to fight closure of ten public toilets in the Capital as it was warned the move would hit busy bus drivers and struggling parents.

A council hit-list aimed at slashing £300,000 from the city’s budget include conveniences at Middle Meadow Walk, Joppa and St John’s Road in Corstorphine, after an initial roll call of 29 was reduced during budget discussions.

Critics have warned the closures could cause public hygiene problems as well as issues for the elderly and tourists visiting the Capital during the festival season.

And former Edinburgh West MP Mike Crockart has launched a petition against the proposed closures as well as urging members of the public to take part in the council’s online consultation which seeks to identify ten toilets to close.

Mr Crockart, who is standing as Liberal Democrat candidate in the ward, said: “Unfortunately it is not the first time that the council have threatened our public facilities.

“After slashing £2 million from our local leisure centres, they are now targeting our public toilets.

“Public toilets are vital to communities across Edinburgh and I am shocked that the council would contemplate closing as many as ten across the city in order to save just £300,000.

“This will cause problems both from the large elderly community in Corstorphine and for those parents with small children trying to use local shops and children’s groups.

“And it is not just local residents who use the public toilets; bus drivers on routes through Corstorphine rely heavily on the toilets on St John’s Road and losing these facilities could cause huge problems for them.”

There are currently more than 60 public toilets in the city and discussions are ongoing over the introduction of a community toilet scheme, according to a council spokeswoman.

The potential scheme would see the council pay high street businesses to open their loos to the general public.

The spokeswoman said: “In order to make vital budget savings of £300,000, the council is planning to close around ten public conveniences outside of the city centre. An initial list of 12 has been drawn up, based on criteria such as usage, accessibility and condition. We are now asking residents to take part in a survey about the impact the potential closures would have on them or their communities.

“Information is also available on our website about Edinburgh’s wide range of publically-accessible toilets and the proposed community toilets scheme to further improve provision.”

The public consultation will close on May 25. To sign the petition visit www.mikecrockart.org.uk/save_our_public_toilets.

lizzy.buchan@edinburghnews.com