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.