MSP Hamilton calls for public toilet reopening

Rachael Hamilton MSP is calling for all public conveniences to be re-opened across the Borders, following a visit to the public toilets in Greenlaw.

Rachael Hamilton MSP at the toilets in Greenlaw.
Rachael Hamilton MSP at the toilets in Greenlaw.

In August last year, Scottish Borders Council agreed that they would reopen 16 in key locations across the Borders in a Covid-safe way, but the Greenlaw toilets have been closed since March 2020.

Mrs Hamilton said there were three people who tried to use the facility when she was there, and has asked the council to look at opening all public toilets “in earnest”.

She said: “Many constituents have contacted me, angered at the closure of public loos in the Borders, especially the one in Greenlaw.

“With Greenlaw being located on the main A697, it is vital we have facilities for local people, as well as those visiting.

“I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it must be for families with small children or people living with disabilities to have a day out, when there are no toilet facilities.

“It’s not just tourists, health care workers and tradespeople need to have facilities if they are out and about between visits.”

A spokes person for the council said: “As Covid restrictions are relaxing, there remains a need to continue enhanced management and cleaning regimes of public conveniences.

"As a result there are no plans to reopen any further public toilets at this time.

"However, where an established community group wishes to re-open and operate a public toilet, officers can discuss opportunities available to them.”

Cllr John Greenwell added: “I recently attended Greenlaw community council where concerns were raised about the ongoing closure of the public toilets.

“While I fully understand these concerns especially as Covid-19 restrictions are eased and we moved into level 2, it is understandable that communities want their local facilities reopened as soon as possible.

“Although the Scottish Government has relaxed Covid-19 restrictions, it has not relaxed the enhanced cleaning regimes required to re-open our public toilets.

“If public toilets were all to open now SBC would struggle to carry out the enhanced cleaning regimes required under Scottish Government guidance presently in force.”