Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Louise McGeoch Tel: 01835 825005  Email:  lmcgeoch@scotborders.gov.uk

Link: link to live stream

Items
No. Item

1.

Petition pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Petition – “SBC should open and take full responsibility for managing public toilets in West Linton”.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

1.1       Petitions Procedure

            There had been circulated copies of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee Petitions procedure.  The Chairman outlined the process and advised Members that the petition only related to the public toilets in West Linton and they should restrict their consideration to those.  The Chairman welcomed Mr Ian Reid, Lead Petitioner and Ms Marion Storrie from West Linton Community Council.

 

1.2       West Linton Toilets Petition

            There had been circulated copies of a petition entitled “SBC should reopen and take full responsibility for managing the public toilets in West Linton”, which had received around 1300 signatures.  There had also been circulated copies of a briefing note by the Director Infrastructure and Environment in response to the petition.  In the statement within the petition, it was explained that the public toilets in the middle of West Linton, run by Scottish Borders Council, had been closed for over 16 months since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic while others across the region had re-opened.  It was noted that the toilets in West Linton had now re-opened and initially the petition had been withdrawn. However, the Council had now indicated that the toilets would close again at the end of the month so the petition had been re-submitted which urged the Council to re-open the toilets on a permanent basis. 

 

1.3       The Chairman invited Ian Reid, Lead Petitioner, to present his petition.  Mr Reid explained that he was not representing any particular group but he had listened to people and discussed his concerns with West Linton Community Council and they supported the petition.  Mr Reid explained that he had begun the petition after a visit to Aberdeenshire where he found that all of the public toilets were open.  He had been surprised at the level of support with the petition receiving around 1300 signatures, 800 online and 500 on paper copies.  He explained the impact that the closure of the toilets had on the people of West Linton, those from surrounding communities and tourists.  The toilets were centrally located close to the shops and the park and their closure had an impact on all ages from young people visiting the park to the elderly visiting the shops.  He also highlighted the impact on tourists with people from 67 different places signing the petition.  He had also ascertained that when the toilets were closed they could still be accessed by Council employees such as those on refuse lorries who had a key.  He considered that if the toilets were having to be cleaned for Council employees then they should be able to stay open for everyone.  Mr Reid thanked Mr Hedley and Mr Pringle for their engagement with him on this matter.  Ms Storrie confirmed the support of the Community Council for keeping the toilets open.

 

1.4       In response to questions from Members, Mr Reid advised that West Linton had a population of just over 2000 people and was located on the A702 which was the main trunk road between Edinburgh and the M74.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

 

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