Published on: 2018-04-21 | Category: updates | By: midlandsmorg
To Pee or Not to Pee that is the Question ?
It certainly is a Big Question if you're planning on travelling the routeEarlier this year Highland Councillors were asked to agree to a set of plans to help Highland Council close a £15m budget gapSome public toilets could be closed with charges being introduced to the most used public conveniences and prices increased at car parksTwenty-nine public toilets across the region including nine in Sutherland are in danger of being axed – Achmelvich Kinlochbervie Rhiconich Scourie Smoo Cave Lairg Kylesku Talmine and TarbetThe cash-strapped council is making the move in a bid to save an overall £338000 – £67000 of which relates to SutherlandHowever officials are suggesting the toilets could remain open if communities assume ownership and responsibility for themWhat is it with the Highland Council that they feel the need for cutbacks after the last two years of an increase in visitors like never beforeI have always said that they must invest in this growth our lose out to other routes opening or planning to open in different parts of ScotlandThe amount saved by the closure of these toilets I am sure would be minimal. Why not keep them open and charge a small fee for the use of and the monies earned can go back towards the up keepTop me it is ridicules that the one service that would be used by tourists to the area they decide to closeNow Labour MEP for Scotland Catherine Stihler has written to Highland Council to oppose any potential closures following her visit to the regionShe said: “Over Easter I enjoyed a wonderful family holiday in Achmelvich but I was concerned to learn about the plan to close the public toilets there“I have written to Highland Council to plead with the authority to reverse this short-sighted decision“With the increasing popularity of the North Coast 500 there is an increasing number of tourists to the north west Highlands who require access to toilets along the route“A lack of public toilets in this area will cause anxiety to anyone needing a comfort break during their travels and will also discriminate against the elderly infirm disabled and toddlers during the toilet training stage who cannot do without a regular rest break during long journeys“There are also obvious public health concerns.”She added: “While I fully understand the budgetary pressures on local councils across Scotland cutting this vital public service is not the solution.”In February Highland councillors agreed to review the current provision including rationalisation of 29 exisiting toilets with a view to make savings of £338000. They said they would speak to local communities to seek alternative ways to keep the toilets open during the reviewCouncillor Allan Henderson chairman of the environment development and infrastructure committee said: “Every option [will] be explored with communities but if an alternative option to closure could not be found before August 31 then we would have no option but to close those facilitiesThe Highland Council really need to think what the long term outlook would be by taking this action and I agree with Catherine Stihler for once that this is such a short sighted way of making cutsWe here at Scotlands Route 66 hope that sense will prevail and all will be able top spend that Penny when the urge comes