Public outcry over toilets

Public toilets at Anstruther Harbour
Public toilets at Anstruther Harbour

Plans to close several public toilets in the East Neuk have prompted calls for action from locals.

The closures are expected to affect facilities in Anstruther, Crail and Elie.

Public toilets at Anstruther Harbour (picture by Neil Doig)

Public toilets at Anstruther Harbour (picture by Neil Doig)

One local businessman, Martin Dibley, has called upon the people of the Neuk to fight against the plans.

He said: “This area relies on tourism not only from day visitors but from the Fife Coastal Path.

“Before the last Council election it was made clear by councillors that there would be no closures unless suitable alternatives could be found. It looks like this promise is being ignored.”

In a statement last week, Councillor Elizabeth Riches, called plans to close the toilets at Anstruther Harbour “madness.”

And she reinforced that view this week, commenting: “I am convinced that everyone will be very vocal in their response to such a proposal.

“I will continue to oppose ill thought out proposals that could have devastating effects on our economy.”

Dr Bob McLellan, head of transport and environmental services, said any closure plans would come before councillors this summer.

He said: “Over the last six months we have carried out a comprehensive, Fife-wide review of public toilets.

“The aim was to provide Fife with fit for purpose, strategically placed public convenience provision as well as making efficiency savings.

“The proposals contained in the review will be considered at the relevant area committee meetings in due course. We don’t have a definite date yet but it’s likely to be June 2013.”

Cllr. Pat Callaghan, executive member for transportation and environment, said the Council would take steps to protect the tourist trade of north-east Fife.

He added: “We are consulting fully with community councils in the area and that process will take time.

“We also want to take the opportunity to expand the remit slightly and we will be asking, for example, what are the specific needs in the area in terms of tourism.

‘‘We will look at the potential economic impact of any changes and look at the levels and patterns of tourism and we will take the information we get from the communities on board to ensure that any plans we make will be appropriate for the area.

He added: “We are fully aware of the economic benefits tourism brings to Fife and these coastal communities in particular. We would not want to jeopardise that by making changes which could have a negative impact.”