Highlands & Islands

Highland Council offers wee fee for comfort scheme

Communities and businesses are being sought to provide toilets to the public in areas where the local authority-run loos will be closed down.

Highland Council will provide a monthly payment in return for the running of a suitable service under its Highland Comfort scheme.

Last month, councillors agreed to shut 14 public toilets and restrict opening times at others.

The move will help save more than £320,000 over the next two years.

Sixteen premises in the region are already part of the comfort scheme.

Highland Council provides about 100 public toilets and spends more than £1.2m a year on them.

In March, councillors agreed to close toilets at North Kessock pier, Elgol, Staffin, Ardvasar, Kilmuir, Ariskaig, Caol, Traigh beach, Kinlochleven, Cannich, Foyers, Boat of Garten and Marine Road in Nairn.

Either Castle Wynd, or Mealmarket Close toilets in Inverness will also shut.

Businesses and community facilities taking part in the Highland Comfort Scheme receive a monthly payment to help offset the cost of making their toilets available to the general public.

Payments of £200 to £300 per month are made depending on the quality of the toilets.

Highland Council's transport, environmental and community services committee vice-chairman, Brian Murphy, said the comfort scheme was similar to others run elsewhere in the UK.

He said: "The council has no statutory obligation to provide public toilets but we would like to work with local businesses, community groups and individuals to ensure that there are public facilities in the majority of our communities."

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