Plea to get public toilets open ASAP

Kate Waddell outside Milngavie Youth Centre.
Kate Waddell outside Milngavie Youth Centre.

Concerns have been raised about how long it’s taking to complete a project which would make toilets available to the public in Milngavie.

East Dunbartonshire Council agreed last June to give £50,000 to Milngavie Youth Centre to allow them to refurbish their toilets so they can open them to the public.

It was also agreed that there will be ongoing funding of £6,000 per annum for the next two years to cover cleaning and maintenance of the toilets.

The toilets were scheduled to open in March/April this year, however they may now be delayed by a further three to four months because the youth centre has to apply for planning permission for three additional buildings.

This includes an information centre with a ‘hotdesk’ which can be used by community groups which also provides access to the toilets, a storage area for bicycles and a building which can be used by Milngavie In Bloom for storage.

Kate Waddell, who was a candidate for Milngavie in the recent local election, says it’s a disgrace that the toilets are still not open to the public.

She said: “The toilets are complete but the youth centre now has to apply for planning permission.

“It could take six to eight weeks for the application to be approved and then a further six to eight weeks for the works to the other buildings to be completed.

“Why was all this not sorted out at the outset?”

Gordon McCorkindale, chair of the Youth Centre board of trustees, said: “The planning application is in and if there are no objections it could be agreed in three to four weeks.

“We are doing everything we can to get the job done as fast as we can.

“The toilets could open earlier if the council agrees to pay the extra cost of manning them until the installation of the new building.

“It would have been good if we’d been given a planning liasion officer when we received the grant because we only found out that we needed planning permission two months ago.”

Proposed operating hours for the new public toilet facility will be 7.30am-5pm - seven days a week - from March to October.

From around the end of October to mid-March, the toilet would be available Monday to Saturday, 10am-4pm.

Councillor Jim Gibbons, Convener of Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, said: “The timing of works and securing of all necessary consents and approvals was entirely the responsibility of the centre.”