'It's disgraceful' - Readers blast council plans to close Edinburgh's public loos

Edinburgh Evening News readers have blasted controversial City Council proposals to axe all but two of the capital's public toilets.

Thursday, 27th September 2018, 3:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 3:31 pm
The 'Hawes Pier public toilets, South Queensferry, are among those that could be axed. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Under the planned cuts, 16 loos across the city would be shut permanently, saving £250,000. The only facilities that would be retained would be at Cramond and Pipe Lane, Portobello, which would open in the summer for beach-goers.

The council would try to offset the closures by stepping up its “community toilet scheme”, which pays businesses £500 a year for allowing members of the public to use their loos. Only nine businesses are signed up to the scheme.

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Budget cut plan could see all but two of Edinburgh's public loos close

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On Facebook, Louise Dunn wrote: "It's disgraceful. As a local who loves to walk I know where all the loos are! Supermarkets, friendly restaurant/pubs, the Summer loos in Porty.....perhaps I'll publish a guide. It's embarrassing to have to advise tourists to buy something in a cafe in order to use the facilities."

Another reader, Andy Main, said: "Dysfunctional and out of touch with what citizens of Edinburgh need.

"What about stand alone pay unisex toilets that are all over Europe? A small fee to use would pay for service in no time."

Andrew Black said: "Have any of these councillors been on the Royal Mile during August and seen how much stress the businesses are under because of people using their toilets? £500 does not cut it, not by a long shot. What are we paying council tax for?"

Edouard Dunnachie also made a concerning observation, writing: "This has been going on in most councils over recent years. Councils have no legal obligation to operate public toilets."

But Malcolm Wilson said: "It's a fundamental human need to go to the toilet, it's the same throughout the country, disgraceful!"

Readers also made tongue-in-cheek remarks after reading another Evening News story about the installation of new 'top-up taps' across Scotland for people to refill their water bottles, with the first being put in outside Holyrood.

One reader, Graham Whyte, quipped: "You can find these when you need a drink but, will you be able to find a toilet when you've had too much?"