Public toilets must stay open – community council

The public toilets at the Knab must stay open at all costs, members of Lerwick Community Council agreed on Monday.

But they were wary of offering to take sole responsibility for them and will now write to the council for further information.

Chairman of the community council Jim Anderson said the toilets at the site are “under review” by the SIC, which has embarked on a closure programme and is looking for suggestions from other organisations about taking them over.

Members of the community council agreed that the Knab toilets are in a vital location for the mainly elderly people who visit the graveyard and especially for funerals. Member Jonathan Wills was unequivocal: “A graveyard requires a toilet and it should be maintained at council expense.”

Member Karen Fraser said: “People can be there quite a while on a cold day.”

As the skateboard project at the Knab is set to go ahead this will bring more people to the area too, said member Allan Wishart, who pointed out the area is already popular for walkers and golfers.

Member Gussie Angus suggested SIC could keep on the expense of the maintenance of the toilets, which would require buying new equipment from time to time, while paying someone else to do the day-to-day cleaning and general upkeep.

Dr Wills said of the council’s wish to dispose of the toilets: “It’s a cut too far. The community council should not take over the maintenance, it’s ridiculous.”

Toilets throughout the isles have been under council scrutiny recently in its bid to cut costs and some have already closed. In other cases the council is looking to off-load them onto businesses or community groups.

Mr Anderson will write to the council to express disappointment at the potential closure and, in an exploratory move, asking for detailed terms and querying what payment may be made if the community council takes over the running of the amenity.


Add Your Comment
  • Joan Dargie

    • April 2nd, 2013 16:10

    For goodness sake what next ….closing toilets at the Knab . This is 2013 surely it is not to much, if you are out for a walk or at the Cemetery to be able to use a toilet. I
    t is a long distance to walk to the next toilet .

  • john Irvine

    • April 2nd, 2013 18:06

    So its ok to close the toilet at Grantfield and Clickamin, which is even worse, but keep the one at the Knab open? it beggars belief, it just goes to show what this council is all about, its ok for some but not others.

  • John Anderson

    • April 2nd, 2013 19:03

    Clickimin and Grantfield both have other premises with toilets nearby. The Knab doesn’t. Funerals are stressful enough as it is, without folk worrying about here to pee.

  • James Anderson

    • April 3rd, 2013 12:07

    Spot on John Irvine. Alright for some but not for others.

    Where else is there a graveyard with a public toilet? Unless you count the very few still around Kirks which have had toilets installed, I can think of none.

    This is exactly why Councillors should have nothing to do with the cuts – they have no ability to be fair or consistant.

  • Sandy McMillan

    • April 4th, 2013 0:45

    If the council close the Knab toilets what then, it will end up the same as Clickimin if nature calls you go to the nearest cover around Clickimin they use the parkys hut, what will the Knab needy use, Yes your right the Grave Yard behind some Grave stone, come on the 22 Councillors get your toilet rolls in hand and head of to the North Ness where the big bucks.are

  • Martin Tregonning

    • April 4th, 2013 0:58

    Karen Fraser is quoted as saying “People can be there quite a while on a cold day.” but I would have thought the cold would have made them be quicker in the toilets, public or otherwise.

  • Steven Brown

    • April 4th, 2013 13:26

    Martin, seems you missed Karen’s point altogether, strange for an educated man to comment on this, but I am very intrigued that Mr Wills thinks that all graveyards require to have a toilet when he is party to and looking to close rural Shetland down!!

  • Hazel Spence

    • April 4th, 2013 15:55

    In the case of the Knab toilets being closed i am afraid Lerwick will have to take ther cuts aswell as the rural areas. The next nearest public toilet must be at the Esplanade and that is no distance to travel. I agree with the above comment that there are not many graveyards with the luxury of a public toile,t and any graveside service is not ‘hours’ long. Think on Jonathan Wills next time you are in a rural area and need to use the public facilities and they no longer exist!

  • JohnTulloch

    • April 4th, 2013 17:27

    Wakken up, fokk, if da SIC can win control o’ da seabed, da lavvies – an plenty mair besides – can aa’ bide oppen!

  • Martin Tregonning

    • April 4th, 2013 18:14

    I confess Steven that I was being deliberately obtuse – it was just the way Karen’s comments were reported it seemed as though she was referring to people being in the toilets for a long time, rather than at the graveside, which is what I am sure she meant.

    Apologies for any offence my intended joke may have caused.

  • trishreid

    • April 5th, 2013 9:52

    I think the closure of the toilet at the playpark is totally wrong. I go to the park often with my 3 children, what am suppose to do when one needs the toilet? Pull them all out and walk to Islesbugh
    ( which to an adult isn’t far, but for a 2 year old its a long way indeed that’s trying to hold in) What’s even harder is when playgroups want a day out to the parks.

    They might end up with a corner pond made out of pee!

  • Johan Adamson

    • April 5th, 2013 13:16

    I cant think that any of the public toilets cost that much to run. So far the SIC has closed these to save what I assume is peanuts, when major sums walk out through the door to hundreds of staff and pet projects. I know that you should look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves but this is a bit ‘fur coat and nae knickers’ – closing the toilets and yet keep paying for hundreds of staff members who could maybe go out and buy a business or find something else to do instead of working in a non productive local authority job (which we cant afford).

    One would assume that running public toilets is one of the councils core services, which they should be doing, and running a quarry, a wages and IT business supplying services for trusts and others etc, is not. The empires need to be dismantled, not the public conveniences.

  • John Anderson

    • April 5th, 2013 19:35

    Ms Spence – anti-toon whining is counter-productive and pathetic. The Lerwick community council is making a case for this toilet – get your councils to do the same. And read the article properly. the toilet is not saved. The Knab has the footfall to merit a toilet, and like most Lerwick areas it is not just used by toonies.


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