Charity’s ‘loo-sing’ toilet cash

Staff outside the shop and community cafe
Staff outside the shop and community cafe

A SCHEME which allowed townsfolk to ‘spend a penny’ in local shops and businesses has been flushed down the toilet.

Fife Council set-up the ‘comfort break’ scheme after it closed public toilets to save cash.

It offered businesses money to open their facilities to members of the public, but it has been ended after just six months.

Those who took part have been sent letters saying that their contracts have been terminated.

Environmental services manager, Damien Woods, said that it had had to end the scheme because of “difficult decisions” resulting from the latest local authority budget.

“One of the significant changes is that our comfort break scheme partners are required only when there is an existing environmental services toilet to be closed.”

It is understood that the council will now use the toilets at Glenwood Library to replace the only Glenrothes business that participated, St Ninian’s Christian Charity Shop and Cafe.

Secretary Wilma Burt said that although the scheme had only run for a short period of time, the money the council paid for the use of the toilet at the Glenwood Centre outlet had proved useful:

“We started on a smaller rate and then went onto the full one, which was around £500 a quarter.

“The money we got was used to upgrade our toilets to bring them up to standard.

“There weren’t a lot of people using it, just those who were in the shop or cafe anyway really.

“It was a useful source of income that would always have been there if anything needed done, but we didn’t rely on it.

Council deputy leader, David Ross, said: “The council has a finite amount of money to provide toilet facilities across Fife.

“This was cut back in the budget set for this year by the previous administration.

“I understand the council has written to three businesses (including one in Glenrothes) to terminate the contract so investment can be made in developing the network elsewhere.

“We want to support local provision, particularly in communities where there may not be other public toilet facilities and we will reconsider the position where concerns have been expressed.

“The provision of public toilet facilities is something we will want to look at again as the new administration draws up budget proposals for future years.”