Re-think urged as Rothesay toilet cuts plan revealed

Proposals to slash the support Argyll and Bute Council gives to help run Rothesay's award-winning Victorian toilets have come under fire.
Proposals to slash the support Argyll and Bute Council gives to help run Rothesay's award-winning Victorian toilets have come under fire.

Councillors have appealed for a re-think after plans were unveiled to slash the provision of public toilets on Bute - including a huge cut in the subsidy given to Rothesay’s award-winning Victorian toilets.

Members of Argyll and Bute Council’s Bute and Cowal area committee have hit out at proposals to reduce the subsidy to Bute Victoriana Ltd from £23,000 a year to £13,000, and to close two council-run toilets in Rothesay - in Argyle Street, opposite Chapelhill Road, and at the public park in High Street.

The committee was asked to approve plans to cut ‘amenity services’ spending in Bute and Cowal by a total of £116,959, by closing toilets, cutting staff, reducing grass-cutting and flower bed maintenance.

But instead of endorsing the plans, the committee agreed to ask for the matter to be raised at the next meeting of Argyll and Bute Council at the end of this month.

Bute councillor and Argyll and Bute provost Isobel Strong said: “Victoriana has struggled for quite some time, but there would be an absolute outcry if the Victorian toilets were to be shut because of this. I just hope we can do something to help.”

Dunoon councillor, and former council leader, Dick Walsh said: “I think there needs to be a pause in all of this. We need to go back and look at this again and see where we can mitigate these proposals.

“I particularly think we need to look again at the proposals for public conveniences and for Victoriana. Where do we start and end with our savings? We never seem to cut at the top.

“If we are cutting on what we do on the ground, management needs to take a hit at the same time.”

* More on this story in this week’s issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, August 15.