Milngavie toilets being funded by traders

Traders running Milngavie’s public toilets are out of pocket because the council has gone back on its promise to provide funds for supplies.

The toilets on Mugdock Road have been run by precinct traders Gilbert McVean, owner of The Iron Chef and Ian Lavrie, owner of Townhead Carpets, for just over two years, after East Dunbartonshire Council handed over responsibility for the premises to them.

The council initially assured them that they would set aside a budget to keep them open for repairs and essentials such as toilet roll and soap, and to employ a cleaner, however for the last year this has not been the case.

Mr Lavrie said: “We’ve been buying toilet rolls and soap and paying for a local lady to clean it once a week.

“For the first year the council paid the bills for our expenses and then they stopped.

“Milngavie is East Dunbartonshire’s jewel in the crown with the start of one of the world’s most popular walks the West Highland Way here yet the council neglects it.

“I have a problem with the way this has all been handled by the council, they want to retain a public toilet facility but they are not willing to pay.”

The toilets were put up for sale by the council early last year and there was one expression of interest at the closing date (May 31).

Local businessman Patrick Stevenson, who runs a firm offering walking holidays along the West Highland Way, spoke to The Milngavie and Bearsden Herald at the time about his ambitious plans to transform the toilets into bunkhouses for walkers, while retaining a public toilet facility.

He said that the toilets were dilapidated and needed to be refurbished to bring them up to a minimum standard.

Thomas Glen, director of East Dunbartonshire Council’s development and regeneration, said: “We previously invited the traders to confirm supplies required for the continued operation of the facility.

“To date this has not been forthcoming however we remain committed to working with them.

“We will contact them to confirm their requirements.”