‘Hundreds’ back bid to reinstate public toilets

Gavin Templeton with petition for toilets.
Gavin Templeton with petition for toilets.

The Milngavie man who launched a petition demanding proper public toilets in the town centre says he’s “overwhelmed” by the response.

Gavin Templeton said he was so disgusted by what he sees as an affront to local people and visitors that he decided to test the strength of public feeling on the issue.

“In almost no time we collected seven sheets of signatures, and that has now risen to 25,” he said. “

He has also welcomed backing from the local branch of the Scottish National Party, which is the main opposition on the council.

The authority put the site of the former toilet block in Mugdock Road up for sale, aiming to save cash, and it is currently under offer. It had earlier been run by local traders, but that proved unsustainable.

Until recently a public toilet was available in the local tourist information office, but was found to be inoperable because it wasn’t sound-proofed and created unacceptable smells - and the company running the site were set to quit this week.

East Dunbartonshire Council says toilets at Milngavie Community Centre and the library are available for use during opening hours. However Mr Templeton says the situation is intolerable for many local people.

“People go to the (former) public toilets on Mugdock Road, find them locked, and in desperation start knocking doors,” he said. One elderly lady is said to be continually pestered by people pressing the buzzer of her Mugdock Road flat, asking to use the toilet.

“She walks with a zimmer,” said Mr Templeton, “but with a relative managed to get the whole way to the stall I’d set up at the town clock to sign the petition.

“The Fraser Centre people organised themselves, and they all signed.”

Thomas Glen, the council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “We have looked at a range of solutions for the provision of public toilets in Milngavie over a number of years against the backdrop of severe financial pressures.

“Colleagues in Tourism and Estates remain in discussions as regards the ongoing provision of a public toilet at the Milngavie Information Centre premises.”