Council cash boost reopens debate on public toilet plea

The former public toilet building in Mugdock Road, Milngavie.

The former public toilet building in Mugdock Road, Milngavie.

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Councillors have responded to widespread demand for a public toilet in Milngavie by providing £50,000 in funding to address the issue.

Liberal Democrat councillor Eric Gotts says that East Dunbartonshire Council has recognised that there is widespread concern locally about the issue.

As a result the council have set aside £50,000 from the capital budget to support community engagement in Milngavie - to act as a catalyst to resolve the problem.

Milngavie In Bloom, Milngavie Community Council, Making The Most of Milngavie and Milngavie BID (made up of local business owners) will all be invited to take part in discussions about a public toilet facility in the heart of the village.

Councillor Gotts said: “The fact that Milngavie is the start of the West Highland Way is a powerful argument for adequate public toilets.

“The groups all have different ideas for what’s the best thing to do but we need to spend the money within the next six months.

“We are keen to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”

The Youth Centre may be one option, as they have toilets which could be opened for public use if they had the resources to staff the building properly.

The Tourist Information Office, which had a public toilet, closed earlier this year because the business owner in there got fed up of embarrassing noises and smells coming from the toilet.

The council has since been unable to find a business owner to take a new the lease and manage the public toilet facility within the building.

Councillor Gotts added: “Since the begining of the year meetings have taken place between council officers and representatives of community groups to find a medium term solution until a site for the long awaited Milngavie Hub has been agreed with the local community and subsequently built .

“It is imperative that local groups now work together to reach a consensus on the best option so that this spend can take place as soon as possible.”

The councillor also wants Milngavie BID Company to consider setting up a comfort scheme in the precinct, with the support of local traders, to complement the toilet solution.

He says similar schemes, where traders open up their premises for the public to access their toilet, work well in other small towns across Scotland and would give a very welcoming impression to visitors coming into Milngavie .

He added: “If traders made it clear that the public are welcome to use their toilets this would go some way to solving the problem and be good for traders as it would encourage customers to come to Milngavie.”