Toilet card payment for 21st century

SNP Councillor for the Isle of Bute Jim Findlay
SNP Councillor for the Isle of Bute Jim Findlay

Card payment facilities could be adopted as part of the proposed public toilet charges in Argyll and Bute.

Members of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee agreed the principle of charging at high footfall facilities at its recent meeting.

It was also agreed, again in principle, to introduce ‘honesty boxes’ at medium footfall public toilets, and promote low footfall ones for community ownership.

And electronic payments could be investigated if a ‘levy on the lavvy’ in the area is officially voted through.

Bute councillor Jim Findlay said: “In terms of charging, could we bring ourselves into the 21st century and have some e-entry facility if we are going to charge?”

Jim Smith, the council’s head of roads and amenity services, replied: “That is something we would be quite keen to do. We can follow it up about card or contactless payment – it is certainly worth exploring.”

Councillor Ellen Morton (Helensburgh and Lomond South) also expressed concerns about honesty boxes being installed at some toilet facilities in view of previous vandalism incidents in Helensburgh. She said: “I have great concern over the honesty boxes. In areas that don’t attract problems, if people become aware there might be money, that might attract vandalism.

“There is an enormous capacity for vandalism, wrenching pipes off the walls and other things. Does it become a target for the wrong sort of attention?

“In Helensburgh we have had no history of vandalism at Hermitage Park. Though, since all the improvements have been done, supported by the local community, there have been three or four incidents of serious vandalism. We have to ensure it is monitored, because we don’t want to end up in a worse situation.”