Loo role in villages comes under review

Public toilets
Public toilets

Public convenience facilities in a host of Buchan communities are set to close under a council review.

Public toilets in Fettearngus, Maud, New Deer, Strichen, Boddam and Longside Crimond, Hatton, Inverallochy, New Pitsligo and Stuartfield could disappear following the introduction of a new approach to the ongoing provision of facilities in Aberdeenshire which aims to reduce costs, increase links with communities and standardise opening hours.

The new regime is set to take effect this summer.

The council currently operates 81 public conveniences, the second highest number for any Scottish local authority.

To allow the council to maintain access to public toilets, and to raise standards, the authority’s Public Convenience Strategy was updated earlier this year.

The strategy aims to reduce the costs by around a third while maintaining access to the majority of existing facilities, and identifying alternative local provision where toilets are to be closed.

Opening hours for public toilets are going to be standardised across Aberdeenshire, with facilities open from 8am to 8pm in the summer season (April to September) and from 8am to 6pm in the winter (October to March).

In some cases this represents an increase in opening hours.

The local authority says that funding has been identified to refurbish public toilets in Mintlaw.

One of the biggest costs for the council is the staffing of attended facilities - more than £50,000 a year in some cases - while unstaffed toilets cost just under £8,000 to run.

Therefore as part of the stragtegy review a number of sites will remain open but will no longer have an attendant.

It is also hoped to extend the network of ‘comfort partnerships’ whereby local businesses or facilities make their own toilets available for use.

Peterhead has public toilets which are located at the Maiden Street car park.

Entry to the toilets is 20p and there is an attendant.