PUBLIC loos in Queensferry could be under threat if the city council goes ahead with the proposed closure of toilets across the city.
The capital has 30 public toilets but is looking to cut that number by half. Queensferry at present has three public toilets, on the High Street and two on Newhalls Road, but will all three remain open when an eventual decision is made in August this year.
Now Almond ward councillor Norman Work is calling on local business and community leaders to voice their concerns over any possible closures in Queensferry.
He said: “There have been all sort of issues with public toilets in Edinburgh with vandalism and anti-social behaviour but it is different in Queensferry. When I heard about the review I expressed the view that as Queensferry is a tourist attraction and has a lot of visitors, toilet facilities should be maintained.
“I am sure that both the Queensferry Business Association and Queensferry and District Community Council will support the retention of toilet facilities in Queensferry and will make it known to the council the importance of these facilities to the historic town.”
The city council will now gather information on condition, usage and alternative provision – so that the public are not caught short when they are out and about.
And they will also look at a range of options for alternative provision, including using toilets in existing council buildings and paid for loos, as well as inviting local businesses such as bars, hotels and restaurants to allow members of the public to use their facilities.
Businesses are now set to be contacted over the coming weeks on their views. And it is also understood the council may offer a reduction in business rates in return.
Councillor Robert Aldridge, the council’s environmental leader, said: “Nothing has been decided yet on the closure of public toilets but the council is keen to seek the views to decide the best way forward. We are keen to offer alternative provision and are looking at a range of options at the moment.”
Douglas Flett, chairman of Queensferry Business Association, said: “Instead of the Council cost saving exercise which threatens our public toilets, there needs to be a positive exercise to improve the visitor experience. If their experience includes second rate toilets, or no toilets at all, they leave Scotland with a poor impression.”
The council expect to save £400,000 from the closures.