Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie has accused The Highland Council of ignoring its own impact assessment by pressing ahead with the proposed closure of public toilets.
The Highland Council Equality Impact Assessment , conducted in January this year identifies public health issues for older people, people with disabilities and notably those who are pregnant.
John Finnie said:
“The Highland Council’s Equality Impact Assessment acknowledges that closing public toilets on such a wide scale will have negative impacts for older people, people with disabilities and pregnant women. Despite this the council leadership are determined to press ahead in their usual, incoherent manner, ignoring procedures, policies and good practice. Given the clear implications for public health, and potential for increased instances of public nuisance, it is astonishing that the council has not discussed this matter with NHS Highland and Police Scotland.
“Recent experience shows that closing these essential amenities results in laybys and other public spaces being impacted by human waste, not an attractive prospect. And while it may be possible in some circumstances for communities to take control of facilities, this is not always possible. Community ownership is certainly less practical when the council reduce comfort scheme funding so that communities are forced to subsidise former council owned toilets from their own limited resources.”