The boarder board maintains the restroom but the closed toilets won’t open

Scottish Borders Council currently has 27 public areas open for use, with a further 14 remaining closed.

A report to the full council next week gives a commitment to strengthening existing toilets but makes clear that closed facilities will not open, with plans to sell them.

In 2019/20, the last year before the introduction of the current operating model for public toilets, the net cost of operating the facilities was £332,000 per annum.

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, all public toilets were closed. In August 2020, the Council reopened 16 facilities in key locations with an enhanced cleaning regime.

A further 11 facilities have reopened as of August 2021.

In Eyemouth, Jedburgh, Kelso, Galashiels, Melrose, Selkirk, Hawick and Peebles the council has more than one facility and continues to provide one operating facility in each of these towns.

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In a report, John Carey, the council’s director of environment and infrastructure, said: “The condition of public toilets affects the visitor and local perception of the community, and there is a need to improve the condition of the facility’s 27 working toilets.

A phased approach will be implemented to modernize the payment-enabled lock-up facilities along with the transition to accepting contactless payment facilities.

“A proper cleaning and inspection regime should be maintained on a daily basis with public toilets being cleaned once a day.

Where communities so desire, the Council will assist in facilitating community-led initiatives to operate new or additional facilities. For the avoidance of doubt, this will not extend to the granting of funding societies to take up redundant facilities.

“To help keep smaller properties renovated, the facilities will be sold on the open market, transferred to communities as a community asset conversion or demolished.

“Future provision of public toilets is expected to result in net savings in 2023/24 allowing for permanent delivery of the £50,000 financial saving scheme.

“The Board has already received two expressions of interest for two facilities and this is expected to increase.”

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