A U-TURN over controversial proposals to close public toilets across Fife has been welcomed by local councillors in Burntisland and Kinghorn.
Alex Rowley, Fife Council leader, has announced that plans to shut 19 public conveniences across the Kingdom have been put on hold until a more informed consultation can be carried out .
The Council has been holding a review of public toilets over the last six months in a bid to save around £240,000.
Among the toilets affected were those on the Links in Burntisland, as well as Kinghorn and Pettycur.
But fears were expressed that tourists would stay away and our beaches could lose their coveted Blue Flag status.
Mr Rowley said: “The problem managers have is the toilet budget was cut to make a £245,000 saving by the last SNP administration.
‘‘They stipulated that no toilet should be closed until an alternative had been put in place - but, never the less, took the cut and now it is proving difficult to manage the same number of toilets with a reduced budget.
“These facilities are very important in our towns and villages as well as in the many outdoor walks and tourist attractions, and that is why we need to take time to get this right, address the budget gap and ensure we have sustainable facilities across Fife.
‘‘By engaging in an informed and meaningful way with local communities we can get this right.”
Councillor George Kay, who represents Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy, said: “I am delighted Cllr Rowley has taken on board the suggestions I made at the last full Council. We have plans for the toilets in our ward where we can achieve the bulk of the savings, but retain the bulk of the service. ‘‘
Ward councillor Peter George said: “I would like to thank councillor Pat Callaghan who gave an assurance the toilets would be open at the weekend. By putting the plans on hold I’m sure Cllr Rowley will find a solution that’s beneficial for everyone.”
Fellow councillor Susan Leslie welcomed the u-turn, adding: ‘‘The budget saving was made on the understanding that alternatives would be in place before any toilets were closed. It is very disappointing this work was never done. The current assurance is welcome and we will continue to work with FCCT, Fife Council and local communities to put forward workable alternatives for Kinghorn and Burntisland.”