Directors in dark over Rothesay toilets’ future

Rothesay's famous Victorian toilets face an uncertain future amid Argyll and Bute Council proposals to slash the subsidy given to the award-winning facilities.
Rothesay's famous Victorian toilets face an uncertain future amid Argyll and Bute Council proposals to slash the subsidy given to the award-winning facilities.

Argyll and Bute Council STILL hasn’t told the company which runs Rothesay’s famous Victorian toilets that it wants to slash the subsidy the authority gives to the award-winning loos.

Almost two weeks after council officials unveiled proposals to reduce the subsidy to Bute Victoriana from £23,000 a year to £13,000, Victoriana director Margaret Shields has told The Buteman that the organisation has still not heard directly from the council about its intentions.

“We really have grave concerns about the future after the announcement of these plans,” Mrs Shields said.

“We were quite upset about the announcement being made in the way it was. We have a group of very annoyed staff for whom it was not very nice at all to have found this out through the newspaper rather than ourselves.

“We were horrified when we found out, and horrified that we weren’t told in the right way. It’s totally wrong.”

Victoriana’s directors are to seek a meeting with Bute’s three local councillors to discuss the situation.

The group’s directors also met representatives of Bute Berthing Company on Monday to consider ways of working together in the future.

“We want to be pro-active about the situation,” Mrs Shields continued.

“At the moment people who sail into Rothesay are disappointed with the facilities they find when they arrive, which is why we met members of the berthing company to discuss where we might go together.

“But if this cut takes place we won’t be able to keep the toilets open. We’re very much on the edge as it is - we can’t pay staff wages without the grant aid we get, and there isn’t anywhere we can cut any costs without closing.”

The Victorian toilets proposal was one of a range of savings options unveiled by amenity services officials at the council’s Bute and Cowal area committee meeting on August 6.

Other proposed cuts include the closure of five public toilets, including those in High Street and Argyle Street in Rothesay, and significant reductions in grass cutting and flower bed maintenance.

The members of the committee refused to approve the recommended cuts, instead asking for the matter to be discussed at the next full council meeting on August 29, although the programme of savings has not been fully rejected.

A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said: “We are currently considering options following the area committee decision.”