Town councillors are not amused by naughty Shetland footballers who have taken to peeing next to the Clickimin pitches.
The problem has come to light since Shetland Islands Council shut the old public toilets at Lochside earlier this year to save £5,000 a year. It seems that many of the fit young men cannot be bothered to run the few hundred yards to the Clickimin Centre changing rooms to relieve themselves.
One community councillor claimed a footballing policeman had been seen doing what he would normally arrest people for.
Lerwick Community Council is trying to get somebody to take responsibility and clamp down on the ghastly new public spectacle – so far with little success, although the season is now over for this year. Having written to the Shetland Football Association and Shetland Recreational Trust an effort is now to be made to involve the Shetland Works League, whose players are being blamed for much of the bad behaviour.
Shetland Football Association is to discuss the matter at its meeting this month.
If the three sporting groups don’t sort it out then referees will be approached. Community council chairman Jim Anderson said they could book players for urinating in public.
He was scathing when one community councillor bemoaned the inconvenience caused by closing the public toilets due to cuts. The chairman contrasted the supposed hardship for footballers who could not be bothered to walk a few yards to the centre with the real inconvenience facing hundreds of schoolchildren who will have to sit on buses for hours every day if the council shuts their schools.
During the discussion on the issue at Monday’s meeting of the community council, SIC councillor Peter Campbell said it was now at the stage of becoming a West End farce. He thought the toilets should be opened for six months during summer and the football season to provide a common sense solution.
But council convener Malcolm Bell said if the saving was not found there it would have to come from somewhere else. He appealed to the footballers to have some decency, adding that women sports players who use the pitches were not seen relieving themselves in the open air.
One hope is that Shetland Recreational Trust will take over the old toilets and have its park attendant open them during matches. But community councillor Emma Williamson suggested that if the footballers were given a mop and bucket and ordered to clean the toilets they would soon be happily running to the Clickimin Centre instead.
The public toilets were closed as part of the cuts agreed by Shetland Islands Council in February.