'If we are talking about a basic human right, in a civilised society, then public toilets are it' - Readers' Comments

Edinburgh City Council is looking to secure £5m of funding to revamp its public toilets network – including contactless payment technology that would "allow charging to be considered”. Councillors will consider a report on the issue tomorrow, so here's what readers think...

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 7:00 am
Public toilet provision in the Capital is being considered by the council
Public toilet provision in the Capital is being considered by the council

Daniel Piggins: That will be a short report – there aren’t many left. The entire thing is a joke anyway, they spend a fortune encouraging tourists to come and then when they do they give them dirty, crumbling roads and pavements, unemptied bins and no toilets

Annie Kennedy: Now, if we are talking about a basic human right, in a civilised society, then public toilets are it – male and female public toilets and disabled ones too. So is Edinburgh Council going to deliver on this basic human right?

Andrew Nicolson: It may be a basic human right, but it is worth noting that councils have no legal obligation to provide public toilets.

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Gillian Edgar-Lane: They need to consider the opening times too. In South Queensferry the area behind the wall gets used as a toilet by many of the cruise ship guests when they come off the ship and find the toilets closed.

Margaret Heinsar: East Lothian has very good toilet facilities, while Edinburgh is closing them down and turning them into cafes. Maybe it should be like in many European countries where you can use pubs and cafes, but pay for the privilege.

Douglas Boxall: They need to get the Radar access toilets open again. Desperately needed – pardon the pun!

Karen Georgina Attenburgh: I think public toilets with attendants should be reinstated. They used to be lovely and clean but the ones in Bath Street in Portobello are a disgrace and the ones on the prom are no better. It’s about time the council put manned Portakabins on the prom as a way of coping with the high amount of visitors just now.

Kim Park: Cramond needs the toilet situation sorted. They are at the top of a load of stairs which are inaccessible to the disabled, and not particularly easy for prams and buggies to manoeuvre. Once you get up there, there's no cubicle big enough for a wheelchair or pram/buggy, meaning you have to leave the baby unattended outside the cubicle or squeeze in and try to hold the baby whilst in there.

Gary Clark: Wasn't it just a few years ago that the council closed a bunch of public toilets to save money?

Paul Krol: It's sad that public services are so bad in Edinburgh that the highlight is to talk about a service like toilets that should be a normal service. With Edinburgh the second richest city in the country, this shows how badly the city is run.

Stephen Butler: The Government has tried to encourage shops and establishments to allow the general public use their toilets, which is a non-starter to me. Imagine someone wanting to go into a jeweller's shop to use their toilet?

Christopher Solley: They should not think about charging for public toilets. I understand maintaining them costs money but if they are abused then why should I pay for them?

Vaccination appointments missed

More than 30,000 vaccination appointments have been missed since NHS Lothian set up mass vaccination centres in the Capital and surrounding areas,

Robert Joffe: If they're having to throw away doses because people aren't showing up, or showing up and refusing to give details, they ought to have a list of people who would be willing to take a vaccine at a moment's notice. You could get such a list by just approaching a supermarket manager and having them give you a list of their employees.

Steven Carstairs: It's not the NHS’s fault if folk don’t turn up. We should be thankful that we have an NHS in the first place, over-worked, under-staffed and under-paid as it is.

Rachel Swales: My mum's letter arrived the day she was due to receive the vaccine. Luckily she had chased it up and knew before the letter arrived. How many other people has this happened to?

Marie Johnstone: If there is not a legitimate reason for missing an appointment then it should be a chargeable service. It’s guaranteed that as soon as you need it to travel thousands will come forward.

Darren Smith: Allow people to book it rather than be allocated one. That would mean the people who want it get it and at the correct location.