29 June 2017
Highlands & Islands Regional MSP, Rhoda Grant has written to the Chief Executive of Highland Council, Steve Barron and also the Chief Executive of Visit Scotland, Malcolm Roughead, seeking the current position with Council managed toilet facilities available within Highland communities for locals and in particular visitors to these areas.
Rhoda said , “ We have a unique and wonderful asset in our iconic scenery all across the Highlands & Islands.
"Each year we attract more and more visitors to the area. Just look at the NC 500 initiative which has helped attract an extra 29,000 visitors to the area and a windfall of £9million being added to the region’s economy.
"Along this route and in our other scattered communities, we have many excellent visitor attractions, some award winning, yet when I am out and about across the Highlands and Skye for example, meeting constituents, I often get asked about the availability of, or lack of public toilets.
“ Of course with the swinging cuts to Council budgets, something had to give, but I am concerned that on one hand we are attracting more and more visitors to the area and showcasing the skills of many within our communities, but on the other hand we do not provide the basic public amenities to service a demand.
“I have written to Chief Executives of Highland Council and Visit Scotland seeking the latest position with regard the number of Council managed toilet amenities and the take up of the Highland Comfort Scheme and there locations, which is a scheme that operates at locations across the Highlands where a business or community facility receives a monthly payment to offset the cost of making their toilets available to the general public."
Rhoda concluded “ Tourism now more than ever is an asset that we need to capitalise on and if we are going to attract more and more tourists to the area, boosting the local economy, we should surely be providing amenities such as toilets available for public demand.