Loos ‘must reopen’ for tourism comeback

Public toilet sign.

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Public toilets in Argyll and Bute must be reopened as soon as possible to cope with increased visitor numbers, councillors have said.

The call for more clarity on the restoration of several council services came as Scotland starts to move out of lockdown from next weekend.

Argyll and Bute Council’s business continuity committee (BCC) heard at its meeting via Skype on Thursday June 25, that officers are revising plans – and that some toilets in the area could open next weekend.

Councillor Robin Currie told the meeting: ‘It would be quite good if we had a timeline compared with the Scottish Government route map.

‘It would be useful to know what the dates are for opening up our council services.

‘I cannot miss out on the opportunity to raise public toilets. As of next week, people can travel throughout Scotland, and to holiday homes and self-catering units.

‘So there will be a lot more people about – what are our plans?’

Kirsty Flanagan, the authority’s interim executive director, said officers are revising plans.

‘We hope we can open some toilets – not all, but some – from next weekend. We are working through that just now.’

No mention was made of any particular public toilets which could reopen.

Chief executive Pippa Milne said officers are working on services that need to restart, and councillors would be provided with an update.

Councillor Alastair Redman, who is not a member of the BCC but listened in via Skype.

He said: ‘I understand the council is spinning a lot of plates, but more people will inevitably come to rural Argyll. We have to be ready and public conveniences must be reopened.

‘I thought lockdown was put in place to stop the overwhelming of the NHS – not to keep everybody safe. There is a risk whenever you go out of your front door.

‘We need to be out, having regular surgeries, and we need to open things up again, open schools up with sensible precautions.

‘The bunker mentality with some, but not all, needs to go. It’s time to open up our economy.’

Ms Flanagan said part of the issue was to do with council resources and having measures in place.

She said: ‘A number of toilet attendants are in the shielding group. What we intend to do over the next few days is engage with the relevant people to see if we can reopen.’