BIDs plan life line for loo

KEEPING Milngavie public toilets open to the public forms part of plans for the town centre to become a Business Improvement District (BID).

The toilets in Mugdock Road were due to be closed by East Dunbartonshire Council in November last year in a bid to make savings.

But some local traders stepped in to take over the running of the facility and pay for its upkeep.

And earlier this year a cash boost of £15,000 to manage the toilets was agreed as part of the council budget.

Traders are now working towards becoming a Business Improvement District, which lets businesses work together and invest collectively in local improvements to their business environment.

Ian Lavrie, chairperson of the BID steering group and owner of Townhead Carpets, said: “The BID plans will go to ballot in September and every single businesses that pays non-domestic rates will vote.

“If it’s passed, everyone will pay a levy towards the BID, which will be put back into the town centre and will include maintaining the toilets.”

There are a number of possible initiatives for the town centre as part of becoming a BID including better parking, creating more events and improving the retail mix.

East Dunbartonshire Provost Eric Gotts, a Milngavie councillor, recently organised a meeting between trader representatives and the council’s Grace Irvine, head of assets and property services, to discuss the transitional period for managing the public toilets.

Provost Gotts said: “I welcomed the lifeline thrown by the local traders but believed that those involved in managing the toilets should not be out of pocket for their efforts.

“This is where the extra money identified in this year’s council budget will be of help.

“The money will not only be used for ongoing costs such as cleaning and supplies, but also for necessary minor capital works to ensure the building is kept up to scratch.”