Toilet toil earns award for Borders council worker

Douglas Heatlie won the title of Scottish toilet attendant of the year at the Loo of the Year Awards for his efforts maintaining the public loos in the Avenue at Lauder.
Douglas Heatlie won the title of Scottish toilet attendant of the year at the Loo of the Year Awards for his efforts maintaining the public loos in the Avenue at Lauder.

His job revolves around number ones and number twos, and Douglas Heatlie is so good at it that he has been named as Scotland’s No 1 toilet attendant.

The Scottish Borders Council worker’s toil to keep the public toilets in the Avenue in Lauder at their best earned him the title of best individual cleaner in the land at the 2017 Loo of the Year Awards.

Douglas, of Selkirk, began working for the old Ettrick and Lauderdale Council in 1983 as a general labourer, cleaning toilets and sweeping streets, before moving on to his current job for the unitary authority that replaced it in 1996.

He said: “I am lucky to be part of a good team who help and look out for each other.”

Douglas’s colleagues were also acclaimed at the award ceremony, held in Solihull in the West Midlands, for being anything but bog standard as their employer was named as the best local authority in Scotland for maintenance of public conveniences.

Galashiels councillor Sandy Aitchison, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods and locality services, said: “Douglas’s award has reminded me that we in the council, and the public we serve, are indebted to people like him who do their job daily without any fuss and give a service beyond their job descriptions.

“Douglas and the other members of the team deserve our thanks. Well done to them all.”

The Council is currently carrying out a review of its public toilet provision.

The first phase of that review saw charging introduced at 27 of the 41 public conveniences in the Borders earlier this year, with the other 14 remaining free to use.

It also included talks with communities and businesses about the potential introduction of a comfort scheme, yielding almost 40 expressions of interest.

The council would still like to speak to any organisations wishing to get involved.

Assessments made by the Loo of the Year Awards judging panel ahead of this year’s ceremony will be taken into account as part of the ongoing review, says the council.