The 13 public toilets in Moray that had been scheduled for ‘immediate closure’ at the council budget meeting earlier this year have received a temporary reprieve.
Closure of the toilets were part of the Council’s drive towards cutting £30million from their budget over the next three years, one of a number of controversial measures that included the closure of seven of the 15 public libraries in the region.
However, at a meeting on Wednesday it was agreed to defer the decision on the toilets, with Moray Council’s Convener, Stewart Cree, saying: “Following the assessment of affected groups it became clear that a very wide range of users, many of whom have special needs, would be affected by the toilet closures and that it would be very difficult for the council to mitigate the needs of these groups in an economic manner.”
The decision followed concerns raised by a cross-party group tasked with looking at the overall strategy of council cuts, during which the important role the toilets play in the tourism industry was stressed.
Councillor Cree said: “This has further informed our views on retaining the toilets, at least in the short term, and the council will be pursuing any opportunity to secure the longer-term future of public toilets in Moray.”
Following the decision SNP Councillor Graham Leadbitter said: “The decision to defer on the closures is a sensible one that gives time to find an alternative that would not involve completely closing off a vital facility for both residents and those visiting Moray.”
The decision will be revisted in the next financial year, while a report on the Library closures is expected in August.