‘No go town’ claim in row over public toilets

Locals claim lack of toilets are driving people away
Locals claim lack of toilets are driving people away

Milngavie town centre is now out of bounds to elderly people and parents with young children, according to the organiser of a petition demanding adequate toilet facilities.

A stream of embarrassing and humiliating incidents involving both local people and visitors have spurred local man Gavin Templeton to launch a petition.

It demands a fully-fledged public toilet amenity – like the former toilet block which has been closed since it was put up for sale to save the council money.

A toilet run in the tourist information office was closed after the operators, who are set to quit, complained it wasn’t soundproofed or properly ventilated – and that leaves just the toilets in the library and town hall available to the public.

Yet this week the council said talks were continuing about the possibility of someone taking over the same facility – and repeated its advice about using the library and town hall facilities.

Mr Templeton, of Roselea Drive, said: “A number of appalling incidents prompted me and others to try and do something about this inhumane situation.

“People have been in distress because of it, and the other toilets the council talks about simply aren’t convenient.

“I met a group of German visitors who were about to start off on the West Highland Way, and had nowhere to ‘go’ – a complely ridiculous situation.

He added: “With others who feel the same way I started a petition, and we gathered five sheets of names in half an hour – everybody thinks the situation is both disgraceful and unacceptable.

“Meanwhile, the original toilets are exactly what are needed – but are closed, and completely out of use to Milngavie’s 12,795 residents, besides backpackers and others.”

Mr Templeton sees the situation as an “emergency” and aims to collect more signatures this weekend before presenting East Dunbartonshire Council with what he sees as an unanswerable case for swift remedial action.

However the authority hasn’t changed its position on the subject, and also points out that a buyer has now been found for the site of the former public toilets.

Development and regeneration director Thomas Glen said the council has found £40million in savings over eight years and faces the prospect of saving £23million over the next three years. A bid by traders to fund the town’s public toilets hadn’t proved sustainable, he said.