A Liberal-Democrat councillor’s claim that the council tax freeze was to blame for Milngavie’s lack of toilets has been slated as “ridiculous and bizarre”.
Hundreds of local people have signed an ongoing petition calling for action to bring back proper public toilets in Milngavie, amid claims that the lack of facilities at the start of the West Highland Way is unacceptable.
But as the heat continues to be turned on the council’s ruling Labour-Tory-LibDem alliance Liberal Democrat councillor Vaughan Moody insists the council was forced to shut down the former public toilet block on Mugdock Road, which it subsequently put up for sale.
Councillor Moody said: “If I had been allowed to put up the council tax by the SNP Scottish Government then I would have.
“The toilets would have therefore remained open.”
The claim has sparked a derisive response from the area’s SNP MSP, Gil Paterson, who said: “Councillor Moody is desperately trying to pass the buck for yet another disastrous council decision.
“The fact is that every council in Scotland has the right to increase council tax if it wants – East Dunbartonshire Council chose to accept a generous cash incentive instead of doing this, and new figures have revealed that councils have in fact been overfunded to deal with any necessary shortfall resulting from the freeze.”
He added: “East Dunbartonshire Council have made yet another nonsensical decision.
“They clearly see no value in the increased revenue to traders by having a basic amenity such as a toilet, and have absolutely no regard for the welfare of local residents and shoppers.”
He said Councillor Moody’s claim was “all the more ridiculous and bizarre” as he’d voted for the council tax freeze in every budget since 2008 – and asked whether he’d now vote to change that stance, and if so by how much he would plan to increase the tax.